Friday, October 20, 2017

Body Image and Raising Daughters


   My niece emailed me some pictures she had taken of me during her visit to Florida. As my daughter Sam sat next to me looking at the pictures the first thing I said was “Ugh, I look fat.” We all have body issues and we as women have a bad habit of picking ourselves apart and pointing out every single flaw we can find. I’m used to judging myself. What I quickly realized was I was doing it in front of my very impressionable teenage daughter. It was too late and the words were already out of my mouth. I had said it and she heard it.

   In the past, I’ve spoken about body image after having a baby as well as how we think our spouses feel about our ever-changing bodies. Unfortunately, our significant others are the ones that hear our complaints the most and hearing “Does this dress make my butt look big?” is a part of marriage.

   What we need to be absolutely careful about is what we say in front of our daughters. They need to be lifted up in positive words and see Mom do the same for herself. They don’t need to hear Mom put herself down. The world is already full of young girls with low self-esteem and poor body image thanks to social media and magazines. They don’t need their young vulnerable minds filled with garbage at home.

   Did I like the way I looked in the picture? No. Do I work out and bust my ass to look the way I want to? I sure do, but it takes time to see results. In all honesty, I don’t think I am overweight but it was the first thought that came to mind when I saw the unflattering photo of myself.

   As a parent that is always trying to let their kids know that looks aren’t everything, that moment was a parenting fail for me. I will have to move on from it and use a better choice of words in the future. The last thing I want is for any of my daughters to constantly look at themselves and scrutinize every single thing about them when they are absolutely beautiful. We as women are beautiful beings and we need to remember that. We come in different shapes, sizes, and colors and that alone adds to our beauty.

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