With the type of media going on in the United States it is important to stay on top of promoting a healthy body image in your daughter. When I was first informed that I was having a baby girl, I couldn't believe it. After all, my first thought was I was so wrong about the size of my baby bump, as was everyone else who had commented on it! My daughter is now three years old, and I now find myself tasked with molding her overall feminine identity.
Promoting a healthy body image is, I feel, one of the most important parts of the molding process. After going through a lot of thinking, I've come up with the following three different ways that I prefer to do that.
Don't Use the “Us vs. Them” Rhetoric
I'm someone who has never believed that a healthy body image should be separated from a healthy body weight. In fact, I'm someone who has always believed that no matter who you are or what gender you are, you should never be shamed just because of how much you weigh.
Focus On Your Health
My daughter's top role model is me, and one of the things that I decided to do was flat out tell her that I needed to lose some weight. Itold her that I would be doing so through aspects such as more exercise and nutritional food choices. Needless to say she became excited and even offered to help me! In the end, we all should strive to be as happy as we can with ourselves. I also communicated that even though I'm happy with myself, yet not so happy with my weight, being overweight is never a healthy choice.
Never Judge Yourself or Others
There was one point where I actually started putting a lot of emphasis on the word “fat” as something that was insulting, as it's often used to judge someone else's physical appearance and weight. This is something that I further learned when my daughter observed a larger-sized man and loudly stated that he actually needed to go there – all while we were both in an elevator. I glared at her, and after the ride in the elevator, I explained to her that it was OK for us to talk about me needing to go to the gym, but not to enforce our choices upon other people that we don't know.