“I need help!” my single mom friend emailed to me this week.
She said that her eight-year-old daughter was in tears this evening after looking in the mirror.
“She told me that she hates the way she looks because now her stomach is too fat! She’s not fat—what do I do?”
Yes, I know the stats about obesity and kids in our country, but that’s not what this email made me think about. This might hit close to home for you, too: how many tween and teen girls do you know who feel like they’re overweight because they don’t look “model thin”?
Still, this leaves me wondering, what should this mother tell her daughter?
She can repeat the most positive, affirming comments to her little girl—“You are so beautiful … You are healthy and gorgeous … You’re just right the way that you are …”—but what if her daughter still puts herself down? Then what?
Perhaps you can show your daughter examples of women of all different shapes and sizes who are beautiful, including real-life women and celebrities.
Also, beware of how you talk about your own body. If you’re the mother of a daughter, I’d love to know if this sounds familiar.
Does your daughter compare herself to waif thin media images and worry that she’s fat?
Do you secretly worry that your own “fat issues” might influence your daughter’s body image?
Originally published on Single Mom Seeking