Thighs & Calves

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Tonight our 7 year old dutifully brushed her teeth. She got her pajamas on. She climbed into her bed. Tonight she looked me full in the face, with a small frown, and said she wasn’t going to have cake at her sister’s birthday party. When i asked her why, she said because she is fat. She threw the blankets off her legs, and tried to wrap her small hands around her thigh. She couldn’t do it, and decided she should be able to, otherwise it meant she was fat. She wanted to know why her calves and thighs weren’t the same size, why there had to be so much difference in shape between the two.

i got indignant, and sad, and angry. i told her that her thighs have so much muscle! That her legs were part of what make her so strong! That God created her just the way He wanted her, and she should love who she is and how she looks. i told her that the skinny women on magazines and on TV are liars, that photo shopping makes them look much better than they really look, and that it isn’t reality.

i told her she damn well is eating cake at the party.

And as i sit here now, after kissing her sweet face and saying goodnight, my heart is hurting. This little creature that i made from scratch, that i rocked endlessly, who i would do anything for… she is feeling insecure. She is in second grade. The world, media, and technology are influencing people younger and younger. i fear that the days of running outside with no shoes on, getting muddy and dirty, laying in the grass and seeing shapes in clouds are gone. i fear the innocence is less than what it was.

As bloggers we have a responsibility to portray what is real, not what we want to be real. Writing stories, poems, and ideas is one thing; portraying them as fact is wrong and unkind. All too often i meet individuals and couples who read this information, take it at face value, and then ruin their relationships trying to achieve things that aren’t real. This breaks my heart, because instead of encouraging people to be and build themselves into something authentic, we are instilling insecurity and self loathing in people. This is a fact. This is truth! This is not right!!!!!!

Don’t apologize for who you are. Don’t think you owe anyone an explanation. But be genuine. Label your shit as fantasy if it is fantasy. Because people are watching. Children are watching. And it is up to each and every one of us to lead by example.

15 Comments on “Thighs & Calves

  1. Very good points. I know how you feel about your baby made from scratch. I feel that way when mine say things that just are destructive about themselves and they are grown. I should have been more careful myself. I contributed to that self criticism by modeling it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • i think its so hard because they are little sponges and watch everything i do!!! i feel taboo speaking about dieting in front of them because i don’t want them to think its body image related. i wish it was easier to model the level of self love i want them to have for themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope that what you said to your daughter helps to reassure her. Cake is good and I have always tried to promote that with my girls because of my own issues. I focussed on what was healthy rather than the extremes of cutting things out. I think if things are homemade and you know what goes into them then it is easier. I realised later that some of my own ideas weren’t actually healthy in that they were a bit extreme so tried to change my own thinking too.

    I agree with your message and as an English teacher used to try to teach the skills so that young people could indenting when they were being influenced by the clever techniques which are used to shape them. It’s such a hard one but I do agree that while fantasy is nice as an escape, pinning your life on it will not work out.

    I hope the cake was consumed and enjoyed. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • i do focus on general health much more than body shape or size. And the diet and exercise that i do are generally for fun, or for health. And a majority of what i cook is homemade and it does allow me to control what they consume- so much so that i do not worry when they eat what i cook, because it is generally nourishing and healthful. i am baking the cake for the party, which is in a little over a week, and since i don’t want the baby eating too much sugar, was planning on making it low sugar. i hope her issues are related to her being small and not understanding anatomy and changing bodies. But part of me fears she was made fun of by someone- she isn’t fat but she is much stronger and more athletic looking than other children- she isnt wimpy looking. Either way i hate that she is having those thoughts. Thanks missy 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry to hear you’re in the middle of all this winnie, I know it can be difficult to watch our little ones grow and go through these pains of finding their way. Hang in there, remember all is not lost. She will learn by watching you as well not just the nonsense that can be found on social media and the like. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      • All you can do is your best, nothing more. Remember that it’s not what they see from us once in a while that shapes them, it’s what they see on a regular basis that matters.
        I can tell you that both my boys went through the same thing but with time they have a much better idea of what is healthy and what is real. Keep doing your best and i’m sure your little one will see that too! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It is the pervasiveness of the dominant culture, which is relentlessly pushing certain visuals. Our young ladies pick up the cues early, on what is lovely, pretty, sexy, desirable, admirable, etc.

    I recall my years in ballet. Yes, my teacher went on and on about strength but we did not give a damn—we wanted to be as thin, flat, waif-like and dainty as possible.

    I could add more but you can see where I’m going. There is a lot of talk on strong and healthy being good but it is supposed to look like Rhianna, Halle Berry, Karlie Kloss, the cover girl on a bridal dress magazine, etc. Tsk.

    (You have inspired me to finish up a post in my drafts on weight issues. Will get to it soon.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment Princesse. Its so interesting how visual cues and verbal cues don’t line up, and yet we choose the least healthy goals, which don’t even exist, except in those who are truly not well. i look forward to reading your post. 💞

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is hard to resist the steady stream of admiration (and hate) that comes from being seen as working at being attractive. Yes, we admire the naturally pretty, like we smile at roses and dahlias.

        But a woman who is exhibiting obvious signs of self denial? Thumbs up. Being madeup and coiffed mean prep time and losing sleep, getting up early. Being not just healthy but gym/athlete fit or thin mean one is denying the pleasures of food. All the bits and pieces that go into the ‘wow look at her’ factor show sacrifice.

        And we still have too many fucking Puritans at heart running about, glad in their souls to count the hours of effort taken away from other pursuits to attain an arbitrary standard of beauty. The twisted love of seeing people suffer to achieve,

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My eldest son (8) has started commenting on his body and asking if he looks strong, fat etc. He wants to ‘work out’ and exercise to get a 6 pack. It’s surprising to me to find he’s already becoming conscious of his body and comparing himself to images of grown men and masculine ideals he sees online.

    Liked by 2 people

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