I walk up to her, get on my knees take her hands in mine and look her squarely in the face and say, “Madi, you have to remember that sometimes even adults can say mean and hurtful things and you just have to ignore those comments. Your body is perfect and I hope you’ll just erase what that woman said from your mind. The word FAT is an ugly word, and even though adults are supposed to know better–sometimes they don’t!”
Although Madi wiped her eyes, smiled at me and hugged me back when I put my arms around her, I know my daughter has a minuscule threshold for pain and those words will linger with her for a long time to come.
It seems that despite all the strides we’ve made as the post-feminist generation of women, the majority of us still succumb to the stereotypical ideals shoved down our throats by mass media images- often contrived and propagated by men, and harshly judge one another by them. But we’re big girls- we can stick up for ourselves and fight our battles. But cutting down a seven-year-old and instilling in her the idea that in order to be accepted she needs to be rail thin in my opinion is a form of abuse.
Okay- maybe that’s a little harsh- and you might think I’m one of those mothers who is oblivious and unwilling to accept that my daughter is flawed– I’m not. I just hate the fact that at ten years old her self-esteem is already being sabotaged by the size of her jeans.
I know I’m not going to change the world and even if I tried to rid all media of skinny Bwords- unless I had the deep pockets of a Sumner Redstone I pretty much don’t stand a chance– but I’m certainly going to try!!
What would you have done in that situation? Has an adult ever made an inappropriate remark about your child, and how did you handle it?