Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mom as Supermodel

Can this child imagine a woman more beautiful than his mommy? The only supermodel in my children's world is me. They don't give a rat's fat ass about Kate Moss, Gisele, or who-the-fuck-ever heroine chic stick figure droops concavely in the fashion book ads. Mommy is their sole supermodel - supermodel of self-love, self-esteem, proper body image. If you have children, you are their supermodel. If you don't have them yet but plan to, you will be their supermodel, so get ready. They learn everything they know about self-image/body image from you. Step up to the plate now and start loving the heck outta yourself as is unless you want to pay out the ass later for eating disorder treatment centers.

urgent news flash --- urgent news flash --- urgent news flash --- 

If you are a mama to a girl/girls: get on this prontissimo! There is not a moment to spare. Negative body image in our girls is rising at an epidemic rate and it all starts with mommy. Oprah did an episode on this a year or so ago, documenting girls as young as 4 years old with negative body image issues who were literally imitating their mother's snaring glances in the mirror. Today, this very moment start pretending to love and accept your body even if you don't. Most importantly if you don't. There is no such thing as thinking your way into right acting. We must act our way into right thinking. That means fake it 'til you make it. Smile when you look at yourself in the mirror. Model your outfit to your kids when you get dressed and say, "Doesn't Mommy look cute today?" with a grin. Let yourself be seen naked by them, if they are still young enough that this is appropriate. Hold your head high and stand tall and proud. Eat with joy. Love your food. 

Our children are watching us like hawks. This is both an incredible burden (when they start saying the F word --- oops!) and a tremendous empowerment to help change the world, one healthy, self-confident child at a time. I thought for sure I'd have girls, and was even excited to be able to mother them with the amount of eating disorder/body image distortion recovery that I have under my belt. But as fate would have it, perhaps my boys give me an equally advantageous chance to help out the world one real-woman loving man at a time. 


  1. I've never thought about it this way. I may compare myself to those ladies on the magazine covers, but for what? Honestly - worrying about that only screws with my own head and takes me away from my job to raise a confident and healthy daughter. You are right - WE are who they look at. Good thoughts you have there. :)

  2. How about instead of teaching our kids to praise/judge their/our bodies, teach them to connect? Instead of, "Doesn't Mommy look cute today?" ...oh, I don't know... "When I look at myself, I feel happy, because I can see how healthy my body is." Maybe that sounds awkward, but I know I feel happy when I look at my son's healthy body, and I would be happy to see myself looking healthier.

  3. Thank you for this post and for your book. I am reading it and can relate so much. I will be weighing in on my thoughts at my blog that I had dedicated to weight loss, but will now be didicated to a healthy body image. If you'd like to know my thoughts, you can check in www.projectrevamp.blogspot.com

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  4. Believe it or not, as a mommy of a boy I have to lecture my husband (fabulous, feminine man that he is) about how he talks about his body in front of our son. When he calls himself a fat pig and Carson repeats, "I'm fat pig too!" I realize that I may have to work on making sure Carson loves his body and doesn't criticize it like Daddy does his. Good Lord!