Consider some of these numbers floating around on the Internet:
• The average size of a Hollywood actress: 2-4.
• Of a Victoria Secret Model: 5 foot 10 and 115 pounds.
• Of the average American woman, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 5 foot 4 and 166 pounds.
• In a 2003 study, 80 percent of 10-year-olds said they were afraid of being fat.
• According to a 2013 report, 24 million people in the United States suffered from anorexia, bulimia or binge eating. Half a million of those were teens.
• In a 2011 study of more than 10,000 girls aged 13-18, 97 percent, 78 percent and 63 percent who suffered from anorexia, bulimia and binge eating, respectively, had either had a suicide plan or attempted suicide in the previous 12 months.
In a world where our impressionable young ones are being bombarded with an unhealthy image of beauty and health (even in books), it is important to let them know that they are beautiful and special as they are, and nothing about them needs to change.
This is why the book, “Greater Than a Princess” by Megan Osborne, PhD, is so special and is a must-read for all young girls. It’s aimed for ages 5 and up and has a storyline that is easy for the younger girls to follow, but words and concepts that will also interest older girls.
Osborne writes from the heart as a professional counselor specializing in body image disorders and as a mom. She witnessed first-hand the effects that our daughters, and women in general, feel when they find themselves striving to compare with the “princess” culture that is perpetuated in the media. As a result, they are left feeling “less-than” about their personal beauty and worth.
Beautifully illustrated by Shelley Dieterichs and poignantly written, “Greater Than a Princess” tells of Emma’s feelings of disappointment on her birthday after realizing that she will never be a princess. Her favorite cousin, Grace, comes in to find out what’s wrong, and Emma tearfully explains how she wanted to be special and beautiful, like being a princess would have made her.
Grace explains to Emma that true beauty doesn’t come from what is seen on the outside, but what is seen through it, to what God created. She explains further that a rainbow is beautiful and a flower is beautiful not because of how it looks, but because God created it in his image. And because he is the King of Kings, Emma is, by default, a princess.
This book is great for instilling Biblical values on beauty and acceptance, and for teaching about God’s love for us. With several Bible verses for reference, “Greater Than a Princess” is a great catalyst for mothers and daughters to start talking about the concepts laid out and finding out what the Bible says. I would invite women of all ages to join Emma on her journey as she discovers the greatest treasure of all.