I’m a proud mom of 3 daughters and 1 son and I feel very happy and blessed with that. But I have to admit, it can feel overwhelming and scary too. In fact, raising kids isn’t easy, it’s one of the most difficult jobs I’ve ever done. Thinking about my kids and especially my girls makes me realize how fast young girls these days are growing and they often feel the pressure to be thin at a young age. Basing their self-worth on what they look like.
Today, I want to talk about body image and parenting. Women or girls learn from an early age on, that their body is “not good enough” or “wrong”. Young girls often experience a fear of being fat and concern about their weight. I did.From an early age on I started feeling insecure about my body, weight and I felt the need to diet. I believe I was 12 when I first started counting “Weight Watchers points’. Of course this didn’t work and after a few days I lost it and I dove back into the cupboard where I could find chips, cookies and candy, and I secretly ate everything I could without being too much noticed.
When I look at my daughters and other young girls, I see the most beautiful wide-eyed, sweet and curious creatures. And they are so young, way too young to hate their bodies and to believe their worth is measured by how thin and beautiful they are. It made me wonder, “how do I stop this from happening to my beautiful daughters?”
This is a big question for me as a mother. To answer the question I think I have to take a long look in the mirror. The opinions my daughters are forming of their bodies, is completely determined by my opinion of my body.
It’s a hard conclusion and may be hard to hear. It is for me.
But it’s too easy to blame the media; all of the images that our young girls see in magazines and on TV. Sure, that plays a role in forming a body image. But who are young girls spending more time with? Their mothers. I believe that, with a strong role model at home, girls can grow up learning that the media is just one way of looking at beauty, not the only way.
You can tell your daughter what to eat, encourage exercise, have fun playing sports and tell her that she’s beautiful. But if she see you, her mother, hating her body, she will too. That’s a fact.
So let me ask you… do you want your daughter(s) to grow up learning that it’s ok to call herself fat, to hate her reflection in the mirror, to go on diets, to strive to lose weight before a big event, to believe that life will be better once she loses weight? I don’t think so! So why are you putting up with this toxic behavior yourself?
Dealing with your own body image problems, changing the way you relate to your body is the only way to solve this toxic issue and save the next generation from body hatred. Until you do, the issue is only going to get worse.
This may sound harsh but I feel people need to hear this. We can blame the ‘outside world’ for many problems but why not look at ourselves and change what is in reach?
One thing I would tell my 12 year old self is that she was beautiful just the way she was. She didn’t need to feel insecure and there was no need to do a crazy diet! Just enjoy life! If only I could turn back time… But I can’t. What I can and will do now is be a gorgeous example for my kids.
If you can relate to my story let me know what you think. You can leave a comment below. I would appreciate that.
I know it may be hard for you to spend money on yourself, and enroll in a coaching program, but if you won’t do it for you, do it for your daughters, or future daughters. Learn more about my coaching program here or make an appointment for a free 30 minute health review.