Body Wisdom for Teens
I recently discovered a woman that could be my role model! I am very excited. Guess who? Jane Fonda.
I found an hour long talk she gave at the National Sex Ed Conference in 2014. I loved her talk! Much of her work is to empower teens both male and female. She presented powerful information about what teen girls need as they transition to womanhood. It inspired me!
I am doing a class series for teen girls ages 13-17 starting in September. I am very excited to provide support, education, guidance and a NEW WAY for young girls flowering into womanhood to view their bodies and their sexuality.
In Jane Fonda’s talk she said that so many women don’t know about “down there.” She was referring to all women not just teen girls. She went on to say how their lives can be determined by this knowing or lack of knowing both in good and bad ways.
Much more education and support needs to be offered to young flowering girls about how to deeply love and honor their bodies. They need support so as not to fall prey to all the misinformation that circulates amongst them as well as the teen pressure they experience. Teen girls need someone they can talk to. Did you have someone with wisdom you could talk to when you were a young teen?
Jane taked about the “fraughtness” of it all for teens during puberty. It is fraught with our cultures covert and overt message that women need to be “good girls.” At the same time it is fraught with the media encouraging women to be sexy. This plays out in a teens world with her experiencing pressure to be sexy in order to be popular or to get a boyfriend. This puts extra pressure on her outer appearance at a time when she can be very self conscious of it due to all the changes her body is going through. Puberty is a time when her body is changing tremendously and at a unique rate often different from other girls in her class. She may be developing (in her mind) to soon or too late. Not enough support is given to these young flowering girls to celebrate this beautiful change they are going through. Also, to let the girls know that everyone is uniquely different. They will all, guaranteed, end up having a fully matured adult female body in its own unqiue form. They need the support and understanding that their pubescent process will be different from any of the other girls in her school. She needs to know that her uniqueness and “differentness” is what makes her a woman. She needs to know that womanhood is not black and white, it is floral with many different shades of beauty. She needs educators and mentors that let her know this, otherwise she could suffer needlessly.
My goal is to provide teen girls a place of celebration instead of suffering during this huge and powerfully fraught transition.
Add to this that statistically speaking 25-30% of teens girls have been raped, molested or otherwise sexually abused. Often by a family or community role model. Gosh that makes me so sad. This undoubtedly creats a situation that can be very confusing for these young girls.
More education, inspiration, cheerleading and support is needed for teen girls!
Jane Fonda also talked about how teen girls experience adolescene much differently than boys. Girls will lose their voice. She reworded that to say that they don’t lose it… it just goes underground. Teen boys, on the other hand, tend to experience an increase in social power during adolescence. The teen boys need support too, don’t get me wrong, however much of my work is supporting these young girls to have a voice (and so much more!). I want to not only educate teen girls on the wisdom of their bodies but now that they are experiencing more highs and lows with their emotions, I want to teach them how to navigate their powerful emotions in a productive way. Something most of us STILL need to learn.
Jane Fonda offered more information and I found her talk extremely heart warming, inspiring and educational. It gave me more motivation to make a difference as well.
If you would like to listen to Jane Fonda’s entire talk here is the video. It started off a little slow but she definitely packs a punch at age 73! I want to encourage you to watch this instead of some TV series tonight. 🙂
Much Love! Anna-Thea