It’s Wednesday – Time for a Little Body Positivity!

It’s Wednesday and time to hear from a voice that might be different from our own. Today I want to share this article from Romper with you: 9 Body Positive Terms You Need to Teach Your Daughter.

I have 2 year old daughters and they are very different in how they react to food. One daughter loves to eat, she tries new things easily, enjoys things that taste good to her, comments on liking food, and I trust her to eat when she’s hungry and stop when she’s full. (I’ve been trying to follow RIE’s lead on trust.) One daughter is a non-stop action machine, and while she has food she loves (sugar, fruit) and is a “good eater,” she typically eats just enough to not be starving and to get back to playing. It’s harder for me to trust her to listen to her own body and not project my momma concerns on if she’s eating enough, growing enough, and getting her nutrients.

But I find that my concerns for her nutrition are often framed in weight. Partly because one way young children’s health and growth is measured is in weight gain, but also because we are so socialized to monitor each other’s bodies.

I have spent decades working on my relationship with my fat body. Recognizing the truths about it (every body is a good body), visualizing it (am I the only one that avoided mirrors?), and accepting it (fat hairy legs in shorts, baby!). But I still talk about my daughter’s weight, comment on their eating habits, joke about their full bellies. I’m giving them the same issues I’ve had to work so hard to overcome.

Right now they are too young to seem to even notice their bodies, so long as it’s not hurting. They run around naked, covered in food, in totally mismatched clothing, without a trace of self-consciousness. I want them to hold on to that as long as possible.

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A close up of the author with her two daughters, one on each side of her face, all smiling at the camera.

From the article on Romper:

Daughters pick up so many social cues from their mothers. Being negative about appearance or throwing shade at someone else’s looks legitimizes the idea that judging bodies is OK. So choose your words carefully.

Click through to read it all, and let’s (moms, dads, and friends of people with kids!) change the way we talk about ourselves and about our bodies, and give our kids the confidence they deserve.

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It’s Wednesday!

Let’s widen our online reading!

Please click through and read Vrai Kaiser’s essay, “Nobody to Wear” on Popularium. It’s a beautiful look at identity, seeing yourself, and that adolescent feeling of not believing your outside can ever match your inside.

And then click over to Feminist Current for the provocative, “You’ve Heard of Rape Culture, but Have You Heard of Pedophile Culture?” I don’t want us to ever get into the trap of shaming other women for the choices they make with their bodies, but this resonated strongly, every summer when I feel compelled to shave my body baby smooth, every time I see those flirty 50s dresses that keep coming back in style with their petticoats you’d put on a toddler as soon as a grown woman. We want to live in a society where women and men can make free choices about their personal expression, but we don’t live in that society. Not yet.

And finally, a great meme by Jerilyn Hassell Pool, found on facebook.

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What have you been reading this week? What’s challenged you?