"I need to go on a diet."
"I have a muffin top."
These are the words 13-year-old Julia wrote during a self-esteem workshop for young girls at the Dove 2013 Mom 2.0 Summit. The girls had been asked to describe how women in their lives talk about their appearance.
Julia wrote the statements down under the heading "Mom" and was then asked to write down how these words made her feel.
Here is her full work, courtesy of the Huffington Post.
I found it pretty confronting because those are the type of thoughts that run through my head every day.
My husband has wisely banned me from discussing my weight in front of our daughters. He doesn't want me putting funny ideas in their heads about body image. And he's right. I have very funny ideas about my body – none of them good – and they defintely shouldn't be in my daughters heads. So I try to keep my trap shut and restrict myself to the occasional moan to him about my belly blubber after the kids are safely tucked in bed.
I'm so cautious about discussing "fat" in front of them that I blanched last night while reading a Morris Gleitzman short story called "Think Big" to my seven year old. It was about a little girl who conducts a science experiement to convince her mum she's not overweight.
It includes sentences such as "Aunty Bev is making Mum starve herself. She's Mum's big sister measured in years, but she's always nagging Mum about being the one who's bigger in fat globules" and "Mum's gone mental about food. She reckons everything goes to her thighs."