“New Year, New You.” This battle cry of the first few weeks in January expands to more media every year. And for the American woman ready to take on a new persona in the New Year, options abound. One recent possibility is the Chinese mother. Chinese mothers are superior, proclaims one headline. The superior Chinese mother is the enduring presence behind those “stereotypically successful kids.” The mother/writer in this case is a Yale Law School professor who says that Chinese children are not necessarily born brilliant. Rather, they achieve brilliance through excessive discipline that is thrust upon them, and limited arts – which are really just violin and piano. And they should never try out for the “Villager Number 6” role in the school play, or whine about not being allowed to do. No word on how Chinese fathers fit into to this scenario.
Okay, perhaps superior Chinese motherhood isn’t your cup of tea, so to speak. One option for a new you could be, the thin French woman. Mireille Guiliano, who moved to America and realized her dreams as CEO of the company behind Veuve Clicquot, wrote, “French Women don’t get Fat,” even though they drink champagne and eat dark chocolate, breads and cheese – not necessarily in that order. It topped the bestseller list. But wait, there’s more. Japanese women. They don’t get old or fat, according to yet another book of revelations. It turns out Japanese women are practically skeletal with a body mass index of just three, compared to 11 for the French and 34 for the U.S. – Greece is at 38. That’s according to the International Obesity Task Force – who would have even guessed such a task force existed? In light of this, it may just be time to embrace the old you and quit reading such self-esteem numbing books.
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