Teaching our girls how to love themselves and their bodies and instill them with confidence is something every mother strives for. But what about when our feelings about ourselves are not positive? How can we be good role models of positive body image when we can’t accept the bodies we have.
Sure, no one is perfect and there are parts of our bodies that we like dislike, but sometimes we just can’t accept the way we look. The feelings are worse when we realize that our children played a part in permanently changing the way our bodies look and feel. It is not blame, just a realization of the different changes that our bodies.
But being critical of the way we look and the parts of our bodies we don’t like does not tend to stay nicely in our heads. We tell others and complain about our arms, thighs, scars, and more. And sometimes, our kids hear those complaints, too. (They watch our every move, so it makes sense that they sense our being critical of ourselves and the way we look).
What will you say the first time your daughter tells you she thinks she is too fat? Or the time when she asks you why you think your thighs are too big and you don’t want to wear a swimsuit?
It is tough. We are the role models that don’t look like models. So we struggle and fail sometimes. Positive body image is learned, so we may have to teach ourselves as we teach our daughters. Healthy bodies come in different shapes and sizes.