This is a blog post I wrote today. This photo is inspired by my daughter.
The other night my 12-year-old daughter told me she hates her thighs and thinks they are fat.
Most of you have seen photos of my kid, right? Many of you have seen her in person. She doesn’t have an extra ounce of fat anywhere on her body. She thinks they are “fat” because when she sits down, they spread out. I explained to her that the muscles are relaxed in that position, that is all. I talked about how when we stare at any one thing for too long, it can start to look strange to us. She said everyone else is pretty. Ugh.
What is a mother to do? How do we keep our daughters from going through this kind of agony? Will this sort of self-flagellation ever end? Is it inherently human or is it a product of years and years of media flashing false images of ideal bodies?? I do find it hard to imagine that a woman living in a society where the sole purpose of existence is survival would have the time to be concerned with issues of vanity.
It is heartbreaking. Then yesterday a good friend wrote a blog post about her own body issues…she wrote in gut-wrenching details about how she felt seeing her body. She’s gained weight in the past year since getting married, but to me she is still a long way away from fat. She is extremely beautiful and intelligent and knows very well that her thoughts and feelings about her body are unhealthy, but that doesn’t stop her from feeling them. She has had thoughts of suicide over this—it’s no laughing matter. She’s struggled with an eating disorder in the past and I’m worried she’s heading for it again. She possibly suffers from what we know as en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_dysmorphic_disorder