Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm Fat

My husband and I have started to foster a positive self-esteem, and we see the extreme importance of this at a young age. We want to accentuate positive qualities in our three girls on not only the outside, but inside characteristics as well: everything from how beautiful they are, their intelligence, their sense of humor, their pretty hair, when they are kind, when they share, etc... We want this kind of affirmation to start in the home so the girls are less likely to seek it out from others (aka boys) or at least this is our prayer.

This can actually be a challenge because we want the girls to feel/see how genuine we are when we give them a compliment, so we don't want to over exaggerate and praise them up and down every minute of the day. If there were constant praise, our fear would be that they would become numb to it and start to ignore the affirmation.

Ok yada yada, you get the picture.

So, yesterday I overheard a conversation Mariah was having with her cousin over the telephone. They were talking about eating lunch at school and Mariah mentioned how she gets breakfast at school too but she hasn't been eating it because she wants to be skinny like one of her classmates!! NO! Please no! Not my daughter. Not at such a young age. Please!

As my eyes start to fill with tears, I am a little beside myself because I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say. I pray that it isn't true. Mariah is a very slender child and you can see all of her ribs already. I was speechless.

I hate that Mariah compares herself to other girls. Ok, insert here all the societal crap about being skinny and beautiful, five million different types of diets and workout programs, etc etc. I am all for a healthy lifestyle, but Mariah IS SIX.

It is times like these that I want to keep Mariah and the other girls in a bubble.

(Side note: a year ago Mariah cut her own hair because she wanted to look just like one of her classmates...thus began my eye opening experience of having a positive self-esteem at a young age.)


Kendra said...

I hear you there! Just yesterday, Rae Ann (10) mentioned that one of her friends told her she is fat. OKaaaay... (wow, her "friends" are dumb!)

I asked her what she thinks of that and she said she doesn't know. After asking her some questions to reason it out, she seemed to 'get it', but I don't know if she truly believes it.

She has to wear slim pants or the ones with the elastic. If she wears "regular" jeans they will just fall down.

So how can she question whether she is fat? And more importantly, why are 5th graders so concerned with this instead of accepting that God made them to be different shapes and sizes?

Jen Wags said...

WOW! :( This makes me so sad... We live in a cruel world. I'm calling her later today.