I just finished reading an article on body shaming and how young it begins to effect our girls. This scares me to the core. As early as first grade it can begin! And it usually begins with the treatment of children and heavier set girls. As parents we need to teach our kids how to treat others, it’s vital and incredibly important.
Now, as a young lady, when I was that age, I have to admit I remember thinking about my legs and feeling too tall and skinny. Body image and how we ‘should’ look was everywhere. Even radio commercials and tv commercials, ads for clothing in magazines (which I read very often), even food ads made you sub-consciously aware. Its everywhere!! Never thinking of it as it being harmful to me and how I would view myself for many years to come.
Honestly, I have body shammed myself since I was a little girl. To be honest, I would love to challenge you to bring forth someone who hasn’t. Most women, unfortunately do.
It started in elementary school when I moved and had to make new friends. It started and I had no idea. It was slow and silent…
Just like today but ten fold our girls are feeling it as well. Its silent to our kids. They hear friends say things or parents talking and then repeating. It slowly creeps in. Into our heads, minds and view of ourselves.
My daughter asked me a few weeks ago, “what are calories?”
I thought, why, why child are you worried about calories at the age of 7!?
She heard friends talking about there parents and how there parents are counting there calories.
So, I answered her question with “calories are what make your body work and function and you need them in order to be healthy and active, but making healthy calorie choices are whats important. Fruits, veggies and chicken are healthy choices. What is your favorite healthy food?” I asked.
“Watermelon and strawberries”, she replied. “Great choices.”, I responded.
But what has been challenging on my heart is later a few days later she said,”Look I am fat when I sit down and skinny when I stand up.” With a big smile on her face.
This speaks volumes to me! It has begun. Its quiet and sneaky. It’s ugly and destructive!
How do I stop this?
Numbers don’t mean anything, we should simply aim to be healthy. Eat food for fuel and enjoy life in a natural, healthy way. Sounds easy enough, right!?
Now, I know some of you maybe thinking well, you work out and count calories. Maybe she’s following you…
But I have told her I workout to feel better. It helps give me more energy and makes me feel good. I like to be strong so I can lift her up and play soccer with her.
We choose healthy meals most of the time and I eat well, in hopes that my kids follow.
I do my best to have a balanced lifestyle. We enjoy ice cream and yummy desserts. We bake cookies together and other things. It’s not all kale and granola!
So with this, I leave feeling a bit torn as to how I switch this up. How I make my child understand how perfect she is and always will be no matter her size. How her value should come within and know that having a good kind heart, treating people with kindness and respect, giving back is what makes you a whole, happy human being. That she understands she is important enough to take care of your self and treat her body well.
And hopefully, all the rest will balance out in perfection.
In the meantime, I will drill in her head how nobody is perfect, and the pumps, the bruises, the scars are what make you awesome.