"Mom, am I fat?"

I can't believe it happened already! My 7 year old daughter told me this morning that, during a weekend playdate with a friend, this other girl poked her tummy and said she was fat. She told me she spent the rest of the play date holding in her tummy. Sigh - really?!? Seven years old?!? Are we starting with this bullsh!t already? We talked about it a bit this morning and made a date to discuss further when she was back home from school and I was back from work.

So I thought all day about what I should say to her. And I decided I wouldn't say much at all. Instead, I would show her. When I got home, I invited her to my room for mommy-daughter time, locked the door and stripped down to my bra and undies; asked her to do the same (no bra of course, just undies). I showed her that I wasn't perfect but that I still felt beautiful. Then we looked at our bodies in the mirror and talked about what we loved about it. We started at our heads and went all the way down to our toes. We talked about how this is the body that God gave us to house our soul and about the amazing things we can do with it, like looking at the sky and giving a hug and eating delicious food and doing gymnastics and giving birth to a child (or 3). She was laughing and giggling and just relishing the whole thing. At the end, she said: "I love my body b/c it's strong and healthy and because God gave it to me as his gift." And then she smiled shyly. "And because it's beautiful." Take that, peer pressure!!!

    I think you handled this wonderfully. My daughter joined Girls on the Run this year a wonderful program that talks about their bodies and emphasizes self empowerment! I think we need more programs like this in our schooL! ... this is a paid program ...i think we need one that is unpaid so everyone could attend
    Sounds like a great program. I wonder if there is anything like that in Toronto, where we live. I will look into it. She seems fine now, and really responded great to what I did. But I know this will come up again. The crazy thing is that she's not fat - not even a little bit - not that it would be acceptable even if she were heavy. But b/c she's slim, but still does have a bit of a tummy, it just shows me even more how crazy cultural expectations of skinniness are for girls and women. Nuts!
      Melissa Middleton
      That is a wonderful way of showing her she is beautiful. It is something that will be deeply implanted in her, giving her a positive influence. This just makes me smile. You go, Momma!
      About Rina
      Birth: September 08
      On Moms.com since: Dec 16, 2013
      I'm a working mom of 4. My husband, kids and I live in Toronto, Canada. I love to read pretty much anything I can get my hands on, am addicted to chocolate and kissing my kids' necks (they all still let me do it!) and am a bit of a political junkie.