Over the summer I put on a few pounds. That may not sound like a lot to you but to me it felt like too much. For as long as I can remember (bar the odd pregnancy) I've weighed around 8 stone, give or take 2 lbs (I have my dad to thank for those good genes!). Imagine my horror when I returned home from France, having gorged for an entire two weeks on cheese, wine, baguettes and croissants, to find that the scales were weighing me in at 8 stone 5!
As I peeled myself into a pair of bright pink, skinny jeans, in preparation for a night out with the girls, I turned to my 11 year old daughter and said "do my legs look fat in these?"
Yep, I blew it. With those 7 little words, I did something that I vowed I would never do - suggest to my daughter that I am less than happy with my appearance. As if that wasn't enough, I then went one step further by listening to her response - "of course not mummy, you always looks slim" - and taking them off anyway, in exchange for a darker, less figure-hugging pair.
Prior to my little dalliance with the scales, I had loved those jeans. So why is it that a couple of extra digits makes such a difference to how I feel about myself? Why do us women have such a love affair with this controlling, manipulative, lying piece of 'kit'?! If it was a man, we would turf it out with the rubbish!
There's been a lot of talk in the media recently about young girls and body image. The reality is,
most some of us adults don't have a positive body image either. Hands up if you have absolutely no hang-ups about any part of your body. Hands up if you've never once outwardly moaned about said part of your body. You see, not one of us can say we are 100% satisfied with the way we look.
I've mentioned a few times on this blog, about the importance of being a good role model for our children and I 100% stand by this. Yes it's an awesome responsibility but it's also something we signed up to when we had our first child. You can imagine therefore, how disappointed I was to realise that in that 5 minutes with my daughter, I had managed to completely ignore my own advice, sending her the message that I wasn't happy with my body.
With two daughters at a very impressionable age (13 and 11), I do feel that us mothers have a duty to our daughters, to demonstrate a healthy body image.......yes, the media can certainly up its game and schools can play a part too, but the message we give out to them as parents holds more weight (pardon the pun) than any of the above. Excessive exercise, constantly checking how many calories are in food products, remarking on other people's physique or consistently seeking approval about the way we look, is not really sending our children a positive message, is it?
So here's a few things I'm going to do for my daughters (and indeed my son):
- quit weighing myself everyday (not sure I can actually bring myself to throw the scales away!)
- always eat healthily and heartily in front of them
- find as many ways to compliment their inward traits as their outward ones
- stop making negative remarks about celebs' appearance
- comment on other people's positive character traits
- demonstrate a healthy but not obsessive attitude towards exercise
- dig out those skinny, pink jeans and wear them with pride!
Ultimately, I want to teach my children that self-worth does not come from looks. After all, the most attractive people I know are the ones who are beautiful inside.....
Who's up for the challenge?Pin It Now!