I’m not sure when the body bashing started for me, it was much younger than it should have been. As far back as I can remember I have disliked being slightly overweight, needing to pluck my eyebrows, and a myriad of other petty things that I’m probably the only one that noticed.
When I found out that I was having a baby girl, behind all of the excitement of dressing her up and teaching her to be a strong and thoughtful little girl that wasn’t afraid to step outside the box, was the nagging thought of how much I didn’t want her to grow up with those critical feeling about her appearance that I did.
While Sylvia and I were out shopping with my own mother one day I noticed just how much my own mother expressed her feeling of disgust with her own body. I started to wonder, “had this influenced my own feelings at all? Nah… I would have felt this way anyway, right?”.
After quite a bit of thought and discovering some great articles shortly after about that very topic, it occurred to me that I can positively impact my daughter’s body image simply by being kinder to myself. She has only just turned a year old so we have some time before this really becomes an issue, but if I start molding her to believe that we are beautiful ladies then I wholeheartedly feel that is what she will think when she looks in the mirror.
Every time her and I look into the mirror together I ask her “Who are those pretty ladies?! Is that mama and Sylvia?”. I try my damnedest to never criticize my body in front of her. If I try something on when she is near by and don’t like it I tell her “Mommy doesn’t feel like wearing this color today!”.
By avoiding those negative comments about ourselves we cannot teach our daughters how to hate themselves, and to be quite honest it’s been such a boost for me as well. To say only positive things out loud about how I look has really started to impact how I actually feel about my body. There is definitely room for improvement, but it’s certainly not as bad as I’ve grown up thinking it was. My main goal is to be healthy, and that will involve some work on my part, but a positive body image is a great start to a healthier me!
EXCELLENT blog. So true, building confidence is key. Bravo Kaitlyn.
Beautiful post! I’m Courtney, and I blog over at The Brown Girl with Long Hair. I’m stopping in by way of the SITS Girls Saturday Sharefest. Your post caught my eye immediately because I have been plagued by this very same issue after learning my daughter was a girl. (She is now almost 6 months.) My story is a little different: I have always had a super-speedy metabolism and have always been naturally thin — unlike the other women in my family who were the complete opposite. The problem is that, I got the memo when I was a wee little girl that my thinness was highly valued. While I was never criticized — it was quite the contrary for me — I now realize that the messages I received were — excuse my language here — seriously F-ed up. I will not do this to my daughter. My husband’s family is the opposite of me: they gain weight just by looking at a potato chip…so my daughter may take after them. Regardless, I am starting to give her a positive body image now. Right now.
Thanks for this post.
Courtney Conover recently posted…“Dear God: Just don’t let me expose myself at the pool.”
I am not a mother yet, but I will certainly remember this if I am ever privileged enough to have a daughter.
Megan Walker recently posted…Ask Away Friday with This Momma’s Ramblings!
Well said! I’ve been working hard on this very concept – accepting my body and appearance and even loving it, for the sake of my three daughters. It’s not easy, but I think that as long as we’re conscious of how our attitudes and behaviors affect our girls, we’re taking a step in the right direction.
Kate (Shakespeare’s Mom) recently posted…Why it’s Good to be a Girl