Saturday, June 7, 2008

Does this make me look thin?

The blond twin put on the kind of outfit only a preschooler could wear -- flowered tank top and leggings with hearts. She walked into our bedroom, twirled and said, "Mom, does this make me look thin?" For a moment I thought I was going to pass out. When I recovered, I calmly said, "Girlie, you are perfectly healthy and cute." She smiled and walked away. In my head I'm screaming, "WHERE DID YOU HEAR THAT? WHY DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO BE THIN? YOU ARE FOUR YEARS OLD."

I was very upset after she left the room. She was a happy, smiling child, but I was stunned. In our house we have always talked about being healthy as eating healthy, getting enough exercise, getting enough sleep, etc. We never talk about weight, except in the "what a big girl you are getting to be way."

The girls are in the 95 percentile for height and the 85 percentile for weight. If anything, they can gain some weight. Even today, it upsets me. We try to keep them away from destructive influences. We don't let them watch much TV. We never discuss being fat/thin, only being healthy.

Yet, despite our best efforts, she wants to be thin. She's four. How much worse is this going to get once she's exposed to more pop culture?


Nicki said...

I do not know where kids get that. Little Bear talks constantly about being on a "diet." Maybe by now these ides are just seeping into their pours from the air or something?

tashabud said...

That sure is kind of disturbing, especially coming from a four-year old. Hopefully she didn't really know what she was talking about. Perhaps she was just imitating somebody she saw on t.v.

I'm with you there, Shari. We're not going anywhere yet either. Not for another 10 years, at least. I'm glad you enjoy the view. You're welcome to imbed this to your site if you like. Just click where it says "imbed" in the slideshow and do a copy and paste. Thanks again for visiting my site. You may also visit my other site "The Big Picture" if you like.

cindy w said...

I totally get why that upset you, I think it would make me sick to my stomach to hear my little girl say that. Actually, it reminds me of my dad telling me I was fat for the first time. I was 5 years old. (That's my earliest memory of my father. We have a, er, complicated relationship, you might say.)

I don't know if you can ever protect your kids from hearing and seeing things about women's body issues, since those messages are everywhere in our society. The best you can do is just keep reinforcing to them that they're beautiful and perfect just the way they are.