Mommoisseurs : Recipes | Wine | Camaraderie

Recipes | Wine | Tips & Tricks | Camaraderie | #momlife

body-image-callie

Body image & the world of parenting

I’ll never forget the day my daughter walked into my bathroom, turned around to show me her behind and asked, “Do these jeans make my butt look fat?”

I’m sure my jaw hit the floor.  She was only four years old, and hearing her say those words broke my heart.  I knew where the question had come from, and I vowed that moment to do everything in my power to change her thinking.

What is body image? Wikipedia says: “Body image refers to a person’s perception of the aesthetics and sexual attractiveness of their own body.” I say it’s much deeper than that. We blame the media for today’s assumption of beauty. Back in the day, we had Marilyn Monroe and more recently, Tyra Banks, who’ve been replaced by much skinnier versions of beauty such as Kate Moss and Giselle Bundchen.

So, the question I’ve asked myself time and time again: how do we get so screwed up? Is it society? Or the media? Or is it much simpler than that? I think my childhood explains so much of what I now call my “issues.” I’ve been told I’m an attractive person, and I believe I am. Many of my physical attributes are desirable. Big lips. Large, distinctive green eyes. A smile that rarely goes unnoticed. All that and a figure that would’ve been applauded back in those Marilyn Monroe days. Yet, I grew up on diets…on different fads and physique-changing mentalities that have only further warped my already tarnished sense of self.

I remember in seventh grade my skin started to break out. Unfortunately, due to some not-so-great-genes, this trend continued beyond my period-starting and boob-growing days. My mom immediately put me on birth control to rein in both the insane breakouts and the out-of-control periods I was encountering. Immediately, I went from an average seventh-grade body to a grown up, much-bustier and more well-rounded body.

My mother had faced criticism from her mother all her life. So naturally, my mother also wanted me to be perfect. She explained that hair was 80% of your looks, so I focused much time on curling or fussing with my hair, trying to get the most beautiful style. She stressed the importance of makeup, so I never went a day without mascara and cover-up. I’ll never forget the day she said, “Honey, your butt is looking big.” And to be honest, it was. The birth control pills had kicked my hormones into over-drive, and my butt wasn’t the only thing growing.  In seventh grade, I went on my first diet. The cabbage soup diet was a big hit at the time, and my mother and I took it on like everyone else we knew. From then on, I began my yo-yo with weight-control, and the love-hate relationship I had with my body. The more I lost, the more control I had. And I sure loved control.

Some months I starved myself and when low-carb came out, it was a dream-come-true for the diet-addict! I watched my weight deteriorate along with my health, then bounce back up when I started eating normal again.

The main problem I have is wondering, honestly, would I have ever been overweight in the first place? I mean, yes, maybe I gained a few pounds due to the circumstances, but would I have actually ever been fat? Was there ever a true need to start dieting?  Was there a need for my mother to point out every time she saw a few extra pounds on my figure?  Did her constant criticism have more to do with my insecurities than anything else?

After years and years of working on myself, when I look in the mirror now, I see a strong, beautiful, curvy woman…most days. I still feel the pull from those other days when I want to pinch my fat roll, throw away the bread and swear off carbs. It’s okay that I’m messed up. I mean, I can handle that. I can control it.

What I can’t handle is thinking that my four-year-old little girl is going to have the same twisted thinking and lack of self-confidence I’ve battled my whole life.  I’ve watched my friends who have older girls make comments about their figures, and then catch their daughters also silently scrutinizing themselves in the mirror.  It’s a domino effect we need to stop before it starts.  Our girls look up to us as if we are the smartest and most brilliant people on earth. We need to reflect in ourselves the people we want them to become.

Ever since that day in the bathroom, I’ve made a promise to myself that I would shut my mouth when I want to say negative things about my body. I now urge my daughter to be happy with herself, no matter how she looks or what she weighs. I’m trying to inspire her to love her uniqueness and focus on her strengths, not so much what America considers her flaws.  I tell her every day how beautiful and smart she is, and she is.  I’m not apologetic when I change my clothes or get naked in front of her, no matter how much I feel the weight of the change from bearing two children.  I pretend to love my body and all it has encountered.  I’m determined to teach her to ignore the world and what it’s portraying as hot…and to create her own version of beauty…and rock it!

 


Print Friendly

Related Posts

You Might Also Like

Memorial Day 2012

Autism Pirate

Co-Parenting – The Necessary Evil?

Keeping Up with the Cleavers…or Not So Much

Why moms shouldn’t get sick

A Fabulous Epp Family Christmas

Different kids, different ages, different stages…It’s all good!

What I’ve Learned from New Years Resolutions

Here I go again…Models & Photoshop

Finally! The Jones Family is Back…

New Home Projects…

Mommy, that dream catcher you gave me doesn’t work!

Creating your own hybrid family

The New Era of Babysitting

Dear Lord

How you can choose happiness in your marriage right now

11 unforgettable wines to sip & serve at your Super Bowl party

Babysitting woes & Eric Church

Are We Seriously Already Having This Conversation?

Your next #momlife Netflix binge should be…

Babies & their hair: How it changes over the 1st year and beyond

There’s No Such Thing as a Modest Mother

Wine delivery to your front door: An Amazon win!

8 hottest “smart” toys for connected kids Christmas 2016

The Heavy: A Mother, a Daughter, A Diet – A Mother Goes to Extremes

The end to an epic summer

Reason #6 • I continue to set unreasonable expectations for myself…and therefore I often fail.

Reason #33: How Do I Explain Death to My Baby?

Milestones: When moving forward means letting go

Lose 15 lbs by New Years Eve!!!

Change is a good thing

Who gets sick on vacation, anyway?

Monster in Pink

Reason # 1 you should pour that glass tonight…

Give It Up Ladies-No Mom is Perfect!

12 thoughtful gifts for NICU families

The gift of giving: Our first contribution to our charities

The road to success is lined with many tempting parking spaces

The Seven Year Itch

Saving/Budgeting…It’s Easier Than I Thought!

The Precious Age of 6

Reason #1: I AM a good mother! Cheers!

What you can do now to help your baby love flavorful food

What is it with bad boys anyway?

Then there was Kindergarten…

7 ideas for having fun with kids while stuck indoors

Whether it’s a bikini or one-piece…rock it!

How did I forget that potty training sucks?

The Fall of a Legendary Football Coach…and More

Cheese Stuffed Beef Rolls

6 essential oils that will make you feel less stressed

Preschool Graduation

Cardinal Rule #1: Thou shalt not sleep in thy mother’s bed

Everyday Skillet Lasagna

Happy Birthday Callie Jo!

11 recipes that increase breast milk supply

Happy 2nd birthday to my baby boy!

What moms want from a President

Working Mommies: It’s Time to Let Go of The Guilt!

Optimistic? Or just plain ol’ dumb parenting?

Desperate times call for desperate measures

A party fit for a 2-year-old

Home James Home

National Moms Relaxation Day: A day of pure indulgence

What Is It You Fiending For?

A NEW New Years Resolution

The people who say you can’t

The Down & Dirty on True Whole Grain

Our book cover: God closes one door and opens another

Reason #39: I’m Pretty Sure Everyone Has Seen or Touched My Boobs Now

11 ways to raise a Denver Bronco fan

8 weight loss tips to help you ditch the excuses

During flight, dad saves Halloween for 3-year-old daughter

And…now he’s 3

Preschool: How did we get here already?

My Guilty Pleasure: The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Old friends and road trippin’

Bossy Mommy

Another Embarrassing Pediatrician Story

Is it Colic, Acid Reflux, or Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy?

Advice From Books or Friends – Who Do You Trust More?

How IKEA is making moms ugly cry

Reason #1 ~ I am a Good Mother! Cheers!

Kiddos & plane rides = Disaster

Squashing this all-American dream

Acts of kindness start at home

Wine Review: Pacific Rim Riesling

Thanks to ALL OF YOU!

Or…Not Doing It All

Why you should take responsiblity for your child’s success in school

Penn State Scandal~It’s Time for Mommies to Take a Stand

Finding Your Own Identity as a Mommy

Doing it All

Why do boys have tails?

The one powerful hurdle keeping many of us from losing weight

Enjoying the beautiful things in life

The Wedding of a Lifetime

The 1 choice you need to make to start losing weight today

Skinny girls are not glamour girls

Being Charitable has NEVER Been Easier

Happy Birthday, my 8-year-old

Divorce is NOT a Dirty Word

Make a change just to see what works for you

Excerpt: Reason #44 I Have Created a High Maintenance Four-Year-Old

Mother’s Day around the world

When fear interferes in your weight loss journey

The New Age of Dinosaurs

Another Easter…A New Spring

The terrible twos begin…

Starbucks anyone?

Rooster: Our Newest Family Member

Sister Wives ~ Paving the Way for Plural Marriage Acceptance?

Wine: How much is too much?

Man publicly shames 3-Year-old daughter

Katrina & Leah: The story of us

A Valentine’s Broken Heart

Leave a Reply