Monday, April 27, 2015

Body Image and Raising Daughters

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   My niece had emailed me some pictures she had taken of me during her visit to Florida last week. 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 had 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 but 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 over weight 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.

6 comments:

  1. I love this! As a mom of girls, and knowing how self-conscious I was/am about body issues, it's so important to remember our daughters pick up on those same habits if we don't watch what we say.

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    1. We are the main role models for out daughters so we do have to be careful. We all have body issues we just need to make sure we don't put our issues on anyone else.

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  2. This is very true. I have done this with my girls around many times. I don't mean to but now it's become a big problem for me as I hear my 10 year old daughter say she needs to work out so she doesn't get fat. I have to some degree feel as if I have failed my girls in that way. I am not happy with myself and sometimes I don't realize that they are very impressionable and often times regret what I have said. I no longer talk about weight, my weight, or dieting in front of them and as much as it hurts, I bite my tongue a lot! I am trying to get better with my self-image and self-confidence, but it's been a major struggle for me lately.

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    1. I've noticed kids start young these days with being concerned with their bodies. In the store the other day I heard a very young girl telling her mother that she wished she could lose a pound every 30 seconds. She couldn't have been older than 8 or 9.

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  3. This is a really great post. It is important to think about those little ones around us and how impressionable they really are. You mention it was a parenting fail, however I think of it as a learning moment. There are women out there who would react the same way you did but not learn from the moment. Thanks for sharing your story and insight to help others make stronger more positive impressions on the little ones in their lives.

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    1. It really was a learning moment. I have made sure since then not to make comments like that anymore. Hopefully I can help other moms so they don't do what I did. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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