Katherine Schwarzenegger Wants Girls to 'Rock What You've Got'
By Nicki Gostin Posted Sep 21st 2010 09:15AM
How did you get the idea for this book?
I did an internship at Dove where I worked on their campaign for real beauty and I became really interested in body image and the statistics really shocked me. Young girls in our society feel such pressure to look perfect all the time and they feel like they can't be themselves and don't feel good about themselves because they don't look like the woman on the cover of a magazine. I wanted to clarify what you should and shouldn't feel. Mainly telling girls they shouldn't feel this pressure to look like the cover of a magazine because it's not real, it goes through so much photo shopping and most girls don't know that.
You grew up in L.A. the daughter of two very famous people. Was that added pressure?
I don't think my parents jobs had anything to do with adding any extra pressure. I think growing up in L.A. definitely adds to that pressure because in L.A. everyone looks perfect all the time. It's not as relaxed as it would be in another state. I think there's an epidemic of young girls feeling they can't be themselves and be considered beautiful at the same time. I think it's everywhere.
When did you first become aware of your body?
I first became aware of my body and comparing it to other girls when I was in the 4th grade. That sounds young but I think it's becoming younger and younger. When I was in 10th grade and my body was changing I was kind of confused and probably most self conscious about my body. I wasn't aware of how to embrace it. That was the time that was the hardest.
How was your mom?
She really told me and my sister when we were feeling self-conscious that she had been there and she knew what we were going through. She would share her stories with us. She was always really relatable to us which I think a lot of moms don't do.
When did you decide to embrace your body?
When I was in the second year of college I really became comfortable with my body and in my own skin and I realized how silly it is to stress over and put so much time into looking like something that you're not and being someone you aren't. I'm a really big believer in staying true to yourself and not changing for anyone. I decided this is my body this is what I look like I'm not going to stress and go on fad diets so I can look like a celebrity.
Do you weigh yourself?
No, I'm a big believer in not weighing yourself. You know what you feel like; if you're getting a little heavier you can feel it. You can tell by your clothes. That's how I can tell, if I put on something and it's a little tight I know I need to work out a little bit more. Weight is nothing but a number; you need to feel comfortable in your skin.
In the book you write that your Dad would sometimes criticize what you were eating. Does he realize now that's not really a great thing to do?
He definitely did it out of love not in a mean way but I think a lot of parents don't really know how to help their kids. I have a whole section in the book about food policing, what you should and shouldn't say to your child and your daughter especially when she's maturing into a woman and I think comment like that, food policing, parents are trying to help their kids but we know that putting a muffin into our mouths is not necessarily healthy and we don't need it to be talked about or told we shouldn't eat it.
Did you make your dad apologize?
(Laughs) No, my dad's awesome. He's so supportive of me and everything I do. He's an amazing father so I wouldn't make him do that.
You must make fun of his accent?
I do. Whenever my brothers and sister and I say anything about a word he says or the way he says something he says, 'I never thought the day would come when my kids would be making fun of my accent.' But he's a really good sport about it all and we always have a really good time with it.
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