One of my very favorite things is when powerful people in our society — whether they are actors, athletes, business people, etc., use their influence for the greater good. Because, like it or not, celebrities have the ability to enact change at a faster speed, and with more effectiveness, than the average Joe (or Josephine). And when it’s a cause that I, too, passionately support, then I really get giddy. Like Jessica Biel advocating for kids to learn about their bodies, about sex, and about how it all works together. My reaction? YESSSSS, girl. YESSSSS! And thank you.
I grew up with little knowledge of the female anatomy, sexual reproduction, and menstrual cycles. I was a “late bloomer,” much to my dismay and embarrassment, and was still waiting on that fateful day that I’d finally get my period until well into my 14th year of life. Yep, there was little, underdeveloped me, well into high school, still waiting. And still VERY confused.
Well, Jessica Biel is out to change that for today’s kids. And as a mom to one 2-year-old boy at home, she’s ensuring that he, too, understands all the “parts” — girls’ and boys’ — and has a healthy knowledge of the human body from Day 1.
At the 2018 Makers Conference this past Tuesday, as reported by E! Online, Biel revealed in an on-stage interview that she believes in teaching kids from a very young age about the human anatomy — including what many call “private parts.”
“We’re using technical terms and we’re talking about when we shower together and this is what I’ve got, this is what you’ve got and you know we just talk about it,” Biel says. “I know he’s really young, but I really believe that if you start it this early that there’s no shame.”
So, so true. If you talk openly about this stuff from the beginning, imagine how much easier it will be to have “the talk” with little Silas in a few years.
Biel also acknowledged that it can be silly and awkward to talk about penises and vaginas, and that’s okay.
“It doesn’t have to be so serious,” she says. “If you want to laugh and say ‘vagina’ and laugh or say ‘penis’ or whatever, well do it! Laugh and get it out, get the giggles out, and then ask the real question that you know you have.”
Knowing that it can be difficult for girls and their parents to talk about this very important issue, Biel has partnered up with activist Saundra Pelletier to help break through those barriers. This female power team is launching a series of videos will discuss issues that affect women — from puberty to contraception — to be shared on Woman Care Global’s website. The goal? To help girls better understand their bodies, so they won’t feel embarrassed or afraid of what’s happening to them.
I think back to awkward 9th-grade me, carrying around pads in her purse, terrified of it happening during a math test, and being totally unprepared. I think of her, completely confused as to what, exactly, “it” was, where “it” came out of, and why “it” was going to happen at all.
Girls and boys deserve a proper education, from an early age. And if it’s too difficult for parents to talk to their daughters, they can visit Women Care Global for help on how to do just that. Let’s arm our kids with the proper tools they need to grow up and feel strong, confident, and prepared. Their bodies are amazing gifts — and they have every right to understand all of their parts, what they all do, and how to properly care for them.
Most of all, we need to raise our kids to feel no shame about their bodies. But only through education and honest conversations will we achieve that.