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Moms, You Have The Biggest Impact On Your Daughter’s Body Image So Stop Talking About How ‘Fat’ You Think You Are

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shutterstock_150316109__1377344989_142.196.156.251As mothers, we worry about external messages our children are getting about body image all the time. It’s why we get annoyed by things like super-sexy looking dolls and really skinny models. But guess what? Our daughters’ body-images take the biggest blow because of the things we do and say – not just to them, but to ourselves as well.

From USA Today:

“Moms are probably the most important influence on a daughter’s body image,” said Dr. Leslie Sim, clinical director of Mayo Clinic’s eating disorders program and a child psychologist. “Even if a mom says to the daughter, ‘You look so beautiful, but I’m so fat,’ it can be detrimental.”

“Zero talk about dieting, zero talk about weight,” she said. “Zero comments not only about your daughter’s weight, obviously, but zero talk about your weight and even other people’s weight.”

I grew up with a very thin mother. She’s still really thin at 76-years-old; it’s one of her crowning achievements. There has never been a time that I can remember my mother not being obsessed with weight.  I knew what the “Scarsdale Diet” was by the time I was 7-years-old. She ate solely white rice and yogurt for months on end, wrapped herself in Saran Wrap from head-to-toe, and loved Jack Lalanne. There is absolutely no way that she would ever think that she’s the reason I had an eating disorder for years.

My mother never called me “fat” or told me to diet. I was always the thin child in the family. It was how she obsessed over her own weight that I got the message really early; fat is bad. Don’t ever let yourself gain weight. The message was received loud and clear; I was bulimic by the time I was 16 and struggled with it until I was well into my twenties.

My mother isn’t any different than most women. I don’t think I have a single girlfriend who hasn’t said things like, I am so fat, I’m getting fat, this will make me fat. Fat. Fat. Fat. Diet. Diet. Diet. Apparently, if we are going to raise daughters with healthy self-images, we need to stop throwing these words around so much and be kinder to ourselves.

(photo: Alan Poulson Photography/ Shutterstock)