Childrearing

Maybe Telling Your Daughter She’s Fat Isn’t The Worst Thing You Can Do

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I’m a horrible role model when it comes to this entire topic. I don’t know how to talk about weight and dieting because the idea of my own kid growing up how I have, with this giant pile of self-loathing and angst and insecurity and disordered behavior scares me to death. I never want her to be at either end of where I have found myself throughout my life, either calculating the exact calories in half of a yogurt or throwing up her hands and having another cupcake because losing weight seems pointless. I don’t know a single adult woman who has a truthfully healthy relationship with food, who eats mindfully and joyfully, who can exist on kale and skinless chicken breasts and quinoa and then skip desserts for a few weeks and run around the park in order to lose weight. I don’t know these women, I am not this woman.

I think the majority of women I know grow up either with a parent who told them they are perfect no matter what they weighed, or with a parent who poked them in the side and signed them up for Weight Watchers when they felt they weren’t. Maybe having just an honest and practical discussion about the whole thing is the right way to go. Charlotte writes in her article:

The mystical amulets of “self-love” and “inner beauty” sound nice and progressive, but they’re little comfort during a meltdown in the bathing suit store. And these ephemeral ideas leave girls stranded between two worlds, unsure whom to trust; their mothers who say they’re perfect just the way they are, or a world that tells them otherwise. Eventually it becomes too exhausting to maintain total acceptance of the way we look, and the “self-love” gets drowned in a wave of self-doubt fueled by everything from the media to the kids at school.

 

I want my own kids to have these mystical amulets. I don’t know how and why we have gotten to this point in this great big world where being fat or even slightly overweight is seen as the worst thing. My own personal beliefs and views are that I like how people are different, I like how people are different sizes. My own aesthetic principals are that I don’t see weight as being a determining factor in someone’s physical attractiveness. More so than that, I just really don’t care what someone weighs. If a person is happy with their weight I do not care. Anything health related to their weight is between themselves and their doctor. It’s not my business.

But when it comes to my own kids, I want them to have a healthy relationship with their body and with their own dealings with food and weight. I never want them to have weight issues that affect their health. I never want them to feel like they are struggling with how to love themselves because of what the number on the scale says or how their pants fit. 

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