I Never Want Her to Think She Is Fat
My daughter is petite. I look at her and wonder if I was ever as small as she is, even when I was a child. Why do I do that?
The other morning we were playing outside together and she was showing me her “magic crystals” (that were actually diamond shaped crayons) and telling me the individual magic each one held in its imaginary power. She was so expressive and cute. However, for some reason my mind wandered to how little she is and that I know four-year-olds (she is five and half) that are bigger than her. Then I pictured in my mind a photo I had taken of her, many months before, where she was jumping in the air and it appears you can see the muscles in her arms. She is tiny and though small, her limbs look different than mine ever did. She is everything I never was, even as a child.
Then I pictured in my mind a photo I had taken of her, many months before, where she was jumping in the air and it appears you can see the muscles in her arms. She is tiny and though small, her limbs look different than mine ever did. She is everything I never was, even as a child. At times when I think about this my mind goes to the place that causes tears to start welling up in my eyes.
At times when I think about this my mind goes to the place that causes tears to start welling up in my eyes. I sit, as in prayer, asking, begging someone or something, anyone, for her to never have to feel fat like me. I want her to not like sugar as much as she does. I want her to be able to eat whatever she wants and not worry about it. I want her to have all the things in this regard that I never had or will have. Yes, part of me wishes she could stay the way she is now, simply so she won’t have to fight the demons in her head. I do not want her to have to worry about her weight or cry when she looks in the mirror.
I do not want her to have to worry about her weight or cry when she looks in the mirror. I understand I am here to teach her that her body is beautiful no matter what she sees when she looks at her reflection. However, so much in our society and environment teaches her differently. Thankfully, things are shifting somewhat. There are advertising campaigns with “real women” and people who are not only a size 2. Still, all around her are photos, commercials and t.v. shows with women that she may never look like.
I look at the catalogs that I get in the mail and wish, wish, WISH I had abs like the lovely, tan lady in the bikini, or a tiny waist like the woman in the sports bra. Sure, if I put myself on some super stringent diet and worked out constantly or ran many, many miles a week, I might look like them too. Or not. The fact of the matter is I have never looked like those women in all my life. I am still learning to love my body, with or without the extra 30 pounds and a tummy that pouches.
I want my daughter to NEVER think about this but I think that is probably impossible. I dream that she can and will love her body for its abilities and size, no matter what. I pray for her to relish in the strength and beauty that it possesses. I hope she can celebrate it when someday (hopefully) it carries babies and maybe even nurses them. I want her to give it the proper credit it deserves when she lovingly hugs others, cooks a meal or runs after a child learning to ride their bike without training wheels.
I tell her all the time that she is smart and beautiful and brave. I try very hard not to critique my own body in front of her. I do not think I have, but I am not completely sure. Right now she is still too young to care about any of this, thank goodness. But I know it’s coming at some point. I know not much longer from now she will start to compare. She may begin to think differently about herself. I plan to help her combat the self-deprecating thoughts as best I can. I will do all I can to make her believe and know in her heart that no matter her size or body type, she is beautiful and strong and that God made her just as she should be.
My wish for her is to never suffer in her mind about her body as I have. I assume all of us mothers of daughters want them to know that their self-worth is not a number on a scale or the size of their thighs – that true beauty is within and a smile can be your best physical trait.
I know my own self-acceptance is the key to teaching her this.
Now, if only I could practice what I plan to preach.
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This post was written by Elaine Alguire exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.