Demi Lovato Was Stressed About Her Weight While In Diapers In Major Parenting Wake Up Call
If you’ve every wondered how soon you need to start teaching your children about body acceptance, I’d like to offer up this truly powerful image from an upcoming interview with Demi Lovato. On Katie Couric‘s new show, the former Disney star and currrent X Factor judge, discusses her personal journey with bulimia, cutting and depression. It’s a subject that Lovato has been forthcoming about in the past, even making a moving documentary called Stay Strong about her battle with eating disorders. But in this interview, she shares a memory that demonstrates just how soon these disordered ideas about body image and weight take hold.
â€œI remember being 3 years old in a diaper and rubbing my hand over my stomach,â€ Lovato says, â€œand I remember thinking in my head â€˜I wonder if one day this will ever be flat?â€™â€
That statement honestly knocked the breath out of my lungs. I currently have a four-year-old daughter. It has never even crossed my mind that she would ever be concerned with her stomach, her weight, or the way that her body should look. Of course I’ve reaffirmed that we are all beautiful, no matter what size or shape. I’ve done what I can to model healthy behavior. But I guess I’ve always just considered that practice for when I’ll really need to address the issue.
Demi’s statement is so strong because it points out that plenty of us are jumping into this conversation too late. We want to address positive image and self-esteem in the teen years, when kids have already formed their opinions. We talk about a healthy diet or appropriate exercise when they reach high school, but the habits start forming in elementary school.
Demi Lovato has done a lot to help teens struggling with bullies. She’s strongly supported teens dealing with eating disorders and self-harm. Honestly, this one woman has done a lot to further important conversations about serious issues effecting kids today. But hopefully, she’s also opening parents eyes to how crucial it is that we promote healthy confidence from the very start.
Personally, I think the very best way that we do that is to model the behavior we hope to see in our kids. As moms, we shouldn’t be talking to our daughters about needing to drop a couple pounds. Even before we realize it, we’re sending the message that smaller is better. We shouldn’t be critiquing our body in the mirror as our kids sit silently nearby. They’re seeing that our bodies are to be scrutinized instead of celebrated.
I think about my little girl, and I realize that it’s not just how many times I tell her that she’s beautiful. It’s how often I let her know that I feel comfortable and happy in my own skin. It’s telling her that everyone is beautiful in their own way. We can’t wait to do that until they’re teenagers. We need to say it from the start.
Studies have found that girls as young as 5 years old worry about their body image. That research is alarming. But there’s nothing like seeing a beautiful young woman open up about questioning the flatness of her stomach while still in diapers. That’s the type of haunting image that makes everyone aware of just how important body image is, and just how much we need to do to support and encourage our kids.
(Photo:Â Mr Blue/WENN.com)