Earlier in the year I heard this NPR story going on and on about how if Americans weren't so fat, girls wouldn't be developing "early" (they were talking about 8 year olds starting to develop breasts, which is still 'normal' timing for breast buds!), how horrible it is that girls develop breasts, fear the sexuality that comes with it (because, obviously, you know, if you grow boobs you also immediately become a slut), wow girls who develop earlier than 12 are freaks, ect. Then without a trace of irony, the last part of the story was about all these people being mystified as to why preteen/developing girls had such low self-esteem and seemed to be more prone to eating disorders or hating their bodies at "alarming young ages". Sigh.
Since then, my radar gets pinged more often when people treat puberty as a disease or something that only happens to "bad" families (ones that ate the wrong food, didn't do all the crunchy stuff, ect). I have kind of seen that here at MDC too. I think it's hard enough to help a girl in particular (though to be honest, my radar is being pinged for boys now too, since I know of two families that are hormonally treating their boys to keep them from entering puberty until the parents are ready for it, and I've noticed an increasing scrutiny/pressure on boys bodies/appearance too. I'm sure it's always been there, but my antennae are more sensitive now I guess) navigate these waters without further burdening them with the idea that there's something wrong with puberty, that it means that all of a sudden you're a grown up/can't be a kid (DD is still very much a kid, and still very much 10), and that you should be scared of your body.
I don't fear being judged, I've already seen it happen to DD (luckily it seemed to go right over her head, and I gave the other people a private earful). DD also once asked after hearing a short radio blurb about breast development in girls happening because of obesity (there must have been a study or something that had come out because it was ALL over the radio!) if she was fat (because she had just started wearing a bra most of the time at 9). She wasn't asking in a negative sense per se (it was more just point of information), but boy did that knife my heart over the risk of her starting to worry about that sort of thing at this age! While I have NOT heard dieting or super appearanced based conversations amongst her friends, I have overheard it in other girls her age.
It has made me more conscious about what I say and the attitudes I display towards puberty, menstruation, body size/shape, ect. though.