Giving Weight to Childhood Baggage

Families Weight Comments May Harm Girls for Years is the title of the article. This may seem obvious, but I sure wish someone had pointed that out to my parents. You know, diet programs at age eleven are 1) never a very good idea and 2) really hard on one’s self esteem, not to mention waistline. I have heard that kids will self-regulate their eating quite unselfconsciously. Thus, if one presents healthy options — both for eating and excercise — that should be all the “commentary” necessary.

2 thoughts on “Giving Weight to Childhood Baggage

  1. Agreed. Teaching a child how to do well (eat well, study well, sing well) is one thing, but criticizing them can be damaging.

    The thing that stuns me is how anyone could possibly associate ‘ugly’ with their own child. Worrying about a child’s weight or socialization is one thing, but doubting their beauty is incomprehensible to me. I wouldn’t care if Ben had a third eye and tentacles growing out of his head; to me he’d still be a beautiful three-eyed tentacula.

  2. And it’s so frustrating, too, because becoming over-aware of your food intake (no matter how much you eat) actually increases the body’s resistance to weight loss, because the body goes into famine mode. So not only is there dramatic psychological trauma, but those criticizing are doing more harm than good physically, as well. Sigh.

    Then, of course, there’s the idea that the “lumps and bumps” on even a normal-weight (whatever that is) prepubescent or adolescent girl ought to go away. Girls are supposed to get bumps. They’re woman parts. So when we idolize those “women” who are actually 14-year-old girls with not-very-many curves yet, and disparage curves in general, we belittle every girl who is growing her own, unique set of dimensions and every woman whose curves change with each year.

    Girls should be encouraged to be healthy. Not to fit numbers or to hate themselves. Funny, it reminds me of teaching Ben–he does so much better when statements are positive than when he is told to “not do something”. Doesn’t everyone? Wouldn’t you feel better about yourself (and be healthier) if someone encouraged you to try rollerskating or invited you to go hiking or included you in a nutritious cooking class than simply saying, “You’re fat, lose weight”?

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