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!