“Mom, do you think I’m too skinny?”

It hit me out of the blue, “Mom, do you think I am too skinny?”

Now, for those of you who know me, I have had a mental fight with my own weight most of my life and was determined to raise my girls and boy with self-confidence about their bodies and teaching them to take care of themselves by eating healthy and exercising.

“Not at all Julia, you are perfect!” I responded….then got on the defensive, “DID SOMEONE SAY SOMETHING TO YOU?!?!?!”  Mama BEAR was starting to come out in a big way.  “No,” she said quietly, “I was just wondering.”

Now, for those of you who know Julia, you some times have to dig deep for the words to come out.  I didn’t push it with her at this particular moment because I know how sensitive self-image can be, especially for girls.  Furthermore, I would have broken down into tears at some point and that would have totally freaked her out!

So I let it go, but it continued to eat at me.

Where did this come from?

Who said something to her?

Have I messed up somewhere?

How do I handle this if she, or Ivy, are looking at themselves in the mirror  and questioning being “too” much of anything?

I didn’t have any answers.

I still don’t have the answers.  I’ve struggled with writing this one for about a week now.  She hasn’t brought it up again.  Maybe I should just let it go.

Anyone?

3 thoughts on ““Mom, do you think I’m too skinny?”

  1. This is your cousin with two girls who has a 6th grader who is “overweight” by regular standards. She won’t take off a cardigan on an 80 degree day because she says she has fat arms.:( I can’t help but feel responsible for the amt. of any extra weight she has because “we” (many family members) praised her for eating for years to encourage the younger extremely picky eater sister to try foods. I struggle too with what to say. I don’t want her overreacting or feeling guilty or bad about food but want her to feel good about herself and healthier too. We just can’t take too much responsibility for what their body type is naturally going to do…Nor can we protect them from outside influences and societal stereotypes. Girls are mean and they are meaner earlier than when we were growing up. I hate that all women have such hang-ups about body image. It takes way too much energy and time! Love you!
    L

  2. Unfortunately, I think that regardless of how much we try to convince our children that they are perfect just how they are, their own self image has a louder, more convincing tone. Add to that peer perceptions and we, as mothers, are trying to paddle against the tide, with one oar. I write this not just from the mother perspective, but from the child’s. My mother tried to convince me of so many things that her mother hadn’t. The simple fact is that the negative things are so much easier to believe.

  3. Sadly this is a battle no matter if you are “too skinny” or “too fat”. I grew up on the “too skinny” side and was made fun of and teased. If she was being teased I think you would know it as I came home everyday crying. The thing is people feel comfortable saying stuff to “skinny” people b/c we should be happy we are sooo skinny and “what a problem to have”. I think letting it go right now is the right approach, if it is really an issue she will bring it up again. I like you really want to encourage a healthy body image with the girls and soon to be boy I have. It is so hard when there is also personal baggage.

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