My first year of college, I did what most college kids do – I put on a few pounds. By no means did I gain the “Freshman 15” (although I probably had by sophomore year), but I was definitely a few pounds heavier. I remember coming home over Thanksgiving to spend time with my family. I was wearing a big baggy sweater and a pair of jeans. As we were preparing the meal for the day, my mother had me running to and fro, cleaning things, organizing the house, etc. At one point she asked me to reach to the top of a shelf to grab a serving bowl or some such thing. As I stretched, my sweater lifted and revealed my waistline. And from behind me I heard my mother say, “Wow, honey! Jeans a bit snug?” I was absolutely horrified. I felt wounded. Twelve years later, I still have not forgotten that moment.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my mother very much. She’s supportive, loving, easy-going. She is, most probably, the best friend I have in the world. But she has always had opinions about beauty and body type. Our family has a very specific build. From when I was very small, I was told I had the “family chin” and “family behind”. I figured these were unattractive things. I was also told that I would never have truly nice legs – they just didn’t “run in the family”. Imagine my surprise and my complete delight when, once we were happily married, my husband told me he loved my legs and my rear end.
I found an article today that I want to share with you. It interested me because in less than 2 months my husband and I will be joined by our first baby girl. I constantly wonder what it will be like to have a daughter. It also called to mind all of the above memories and comments I shared. This article talks about the necessity of mothers having a healthy body image, so that they can communicate that to their daughters. It also talks about letting your daughter be an individual, and what a struggle that can be. Check out the full text here: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/30457264/