I stumbled upon this very interesting article today, an open letter from a daughter to her mum, about how she was seven years old when she discovered her mum was fat, ugly and horrible. Because her mum told her so herself and mums don’t lie. I recommend reading it here, it is so true how mothers are role models for their daughters and they can affect their daughter’s whole life by worrying about their weight. I am lucky enough to have a mum who has never been on a diet. She is strong and brave and I have never heard her say ‘I can’t do that‘ because she is more of a handyman than most guys I know. I have never heard her say ‘I can’t eat that‘ either. She is not the skinniest woman on earth, thankfully, because I don’t think a skinny woman could’ve done all the work my mum does every day. She taught me how to cook and to appreciate food, and she taught me to respect my body for what it can do rather than how it looks.
I spend a lot of time with a little girl myself. She is 2,5 years old. I am not her mum, but I know that she looks up to me and I want to be a strong and healthy role model for her. She is already very conscious of clothes and shoes, and the other day (she does make me laugh a lot, I tell you that), she pointed out to me (from nowhere) ‘nice bag’ and pointed to my very 90’s disco bag from H&M. Did I mention she is 2,5 years old? And she is already very particular on what she wants to wear. On Sunday when I saw her, we were watching a movie when she started talking about her pretty, new shoes. I’m hoping she’ll keep only being conscious of clothes and shoes when she’s getting older as well, and not conscious about her weight or flabby bits. In the US a shocking 81% of 10 years old girls are afraid of being fat. 10 years old! When I was 10, the last thing I thought of was how I looked. We played soccer, climbed in trees, jumped in the hay (yes, actual jumping in the hay in the barn), played Duck, Duck Goose and Hide & Seek. I was lucky enough to have six older female first cousins, so I was getting ‘new’ clothes all the time. Love a good hand-me-down bag full of goodies. I din’t know what Dolce Gabbana or Gucci was (not that I own any of those things now either, but at least I know what they are!) and was not overly concerned with how I looked. When I was 14-15, the coolest thing in town was Levi’s jeans and Fruit Of The Loom or Adidas jumpers. I am sure we looked sexy in those!
I love how the article says ‘when did fat become a feeling anyway?’, because that is so true. I used that term the other night, when looking at bikinis from Victoria’s Secret (who doesn’t feel a little fat when comparing themselves to 180cm tall, 55kgs heavy women??).Why do we feel fat, if we are not fat at all? Why do we value ourselves in kilos and centimeters, rather than who we are and what we achieve? We need to remind ourselves that we are so much more than our looks. Young girls needs to grow up understanding that their looks is not their most important asset. Young girls needs to have healthy, smart, handy and strong mums and other role models to look up to, rather than glossy magazine models and adult women who are only concerned about their weight and size of their hips.
Let us honour and respect our bodies for what they do instead of despising them for how they appear. Focus on living healthy and active lives, let our weight fall where it may, and consign our body hatred in the past where it belongs.KASEY EDWARDS
Your body is your temple, cherish it and keep it healthy (make sure you don’t mistake skinny from healthy – it’s actually not the same thing!) so you can do the things you want in life, but don’t let it stop you from being happy. Happiness isn’t measured in kilos and centimeters. Happiness is measured in time spent together, laughter, meals shared and exploring the world with people you love. Happiness is a feeling, not a number. Fat is not a feeling nor a measure of self worth. Let’s not teach young girls that women must be thin to be valid and worthy. Let’s teach them to be happy.