My nine-year-old daughter recently began to say she was fat. Hearing her say those words terrified me. "Why would you say that, my little angel? How can you think you’re fat?" I asked, and my voice trembled as thoughts of anorexia, bulimia and other obsessions invaded my mind. “Oh, I’m not fat fat,” she answered, “but I have a big belly.” And she pushed out her middle so it stuck out of her body like a toddler’s belly. I looked on with bafflement, not knowing what to say or do.
I’d have thought that she would not consider me a model for fashion sense or body image, considering how different we like to look. But I guess that though her choices of dress are more elaborate than mine, the way I speak of my body filters down to her and gives her ideas for criticisms of her own. Turns out that Vera, my esteemed pilates teacher, was right when she said (in response to my comment that I look fat today): Would you want anyone to say that to your daughter?
I don’t. And that’s why I’m making a commitment to myself and to my dream to be better at accepting myself as I am, to appreciate the beautiful body in which I was born, the only one that I have in this life. I will no longer complain of being fat or wrinkled or old. And maybe I’ll dress up a little nicer once in a while. Or put on a necklace. Or allow Eden to brush some powder on my cheeks and spread some lipstick on my mouth.
What do you do to accept and appreciate your body?