I went to a dinner party at a friend’s home last weekend, and met her five-year-old daughter for the first time. Turn around and model that pretty ruffled gown, you gorgeous thing! And why not give them a sincere compliment to boost their self-esteem? So, one tiny bit of opposition to a culture that sends all the wrong messages to our girls. She has also been profiled, featured, and quoted in hundreds of publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Elle, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Variety.Little Maya was all curly brown hair, doe-like dark eyes, and adorable in her shiny pink nightgown. Because they are so darling I just want to burst when I meet them, honestly. This week ABC news reported that nearly half of all three- to six-year-old girls worry about being fat. Bloom graduated early and Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA, where she was national college debate champion, and then from the Yale Law School, where she won the moot court competition. As I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are. It’s our culture’s standard talking-to-little-girls icebreaker, isn’t it? I told her that I’d just written a book, and that I hoped she’d write one too one day. We were both sad when Maya had to go to bed, but I told her next time to choose another book and we’d read it and talk about it. That got her too amped up to sleep, and she came down from her bedroom a few times, all jazzed up. Will my few minutes with Maya change our multibillion dollar beauty industry, reality shows that demean women, our celebrity-manic culture? But I did change Maya’s perspective for at least that evening. She may be surprised and unsure at first, because few ask her about her mind, but be patient and stick with it. Bloom has written numerous popular and scholarly articles for the Los Angeles Times, Family Circle, the National Law Journal, CNN.com, the Daily Beast, and many more.
“Maya,” I said, crouching down at her level, looking into her eyes, “very nice to meet you.” “Nice to meet you too,” she said, in that trained, polite, talking-to-adults good girl voice. Reply I think a critically important point in the article is that the author restrained herself from making her first comment (and compliment) appearance based.
It’s surprising how hard it is to stay away from those topics with little girls, but I’m stubborn. For older girls, ask her about current events issues: pollution, wars, school budgets slashed. From 2001-2009, Bloom hosted her own daily, live, national show on Court TV, and she has guest-hosted Larry King Live, The Early Show, and Showbiz Tonight.
Not once did we discuss clothes or hair or bodies or who was pretty. You’re just generating an intelligent conversation that respects her brain. She has been featured on Oprah, Nightline, Today, Good Morning America, Rachael Ray, and many more, and she was a nightly panelist on The Insider throughout 2010.
I told her my favorite color in the world is green, because I love nature, and she was down with that. Tell her about your ideas and accomplishments and your favorite books. A daily fixture on American television for the last decade, Bloom is currently the CBS News legal analyst, appearing frequently on The Early Show and CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, as well as the legal analyst for The Dr. Bloom appears regularly on CNN and HLN prime time shows such as Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell, The Joy Behar Show, Anderson Cooper 360, and The Situation Room.
But after Maya closed the final page, I steered the conversation to the deeper issues in the book: mean girls and peer pressure and not going along with the group. Lisa Bloom, author of Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed Down World, is an award-winning journalist, legal analyst, trial attorney, and the daughter of renowned women’s rights attorney, Gloria Allred.
Alas, it was about girls and what they wore, and how their wardrobe choices defined their identities. Here’s to changing the world, one little girl at a time.