Happy Girls Are The Prettiest (Audrey Hepburn)

Where do I start?…. I have been overweight all of my life, all my family are overweight too.  I have a good appetite and although I have been known to eat the ‘bad’ stuff, my diet has never been really awful.  I have to do pretty hardcore dieting to lose weight.  Consequently, I have been on a diet for the last 18 years off and on.  I have done most diets out there, with varying success, but obviously nothing long term as I still diet now.

My worry?  Is that I will pass this cycle onto our baby.  It’s not just a worry, it’s a gut wrenching fear.

I want her to look in the mirror and love what she see’s,  can I do that?  No…

I want her to be confident, whatever size she turns out to be,  am I confident with my size?  Not really…

I never want her to miss out on anything, because she is unhappy with her size/appearance.  Do I miss out?  Sure do…

We all know society values and promotes a ‘slim is best’ view.  Fat is considered bad, undesirable, ugly even.  This is so ingrained.  How do things ever change?  How can I make my daughter believe that it’s what’s in her heart that is important, whatever size she is?.

Researching this area adds further to my fears and makes for frightening reading.  “It’s no surprise that a new survey of 500 girls aged 12 to 18 revealed yesterday, that while 6 per cent had an eating disorder, this rose to one in ten among those whose mothers dieted.  Equally, four out of ten admitted their mother was the biggest influence on how they perceived themselves.” Daily Mail

This excerpt from Dear Mum gives a powerful account of the effect a mothers body hatred can have on her daughter.  I admit to actually crying the first time I read this account-  Passing on body hatred

I feel very scared that I could, unknowingly, have such a detrimental effect on my daughter, simply by dieting and by not being happy with myself.  Careless comments by others, seeing me diet, exposure to the media could all ensure the belief in her that thin is what we should be striving for.  I want her to see how beautiful she is and know that her beliefs and actions are important, not her size.

So what can I do;

I will try to stop being negative about my own appearance.

Teach her that size is only one aspect of who she is and try to educate her on healthy eating & exercise.

Explain to her how photographs are amended in the media (air brushing etc).

Try to learn to accept my own body

Make sure we are careful about how we speak about and describe others.

If she is confident and happy in her own skin, then she will be the prettiest girl in the world and we will be the proudest parents.

Baby

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3 thoughts on “Happy Girls Are The Prettiest (Audrey Hepburn)

  1. I’m the same as you -I’ve been on a diet on and off since my teens (and I can’t remember a time when my mum hasn’t been on one diet or another) and I’m really worried that I’m going to pass on my hang ups about my body and food to my children. Even though I have a little boy and the pressures seem to be somewhat less on boys they are still there. I’m a secondary school teacher and I see teenagers (girls and boys) worried about their bodies and appearances every day. I don’t know what the answer is – we can only do our best to make sure our kids know what really matters, and like you I think the hardest part of that is accepting ourselves.

  2. It’s really difficult isn’t it? She is only 7 months old, so too young as yet to be aware of anything, but I worry so much. Hopefully we will both get it right 🙂

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