Mum Urges Parents To Consider How The Language They Use To Describe Their Bodies Impacts Their Kids
An innocent question from her daughter made one mum hyper-aware of how the words she uses to describe her body will help to shape her child’s own body image.
“Why is your tummy big mama?” Allison Kimmey’s daughter asked her as they lay by a swimming pool, before asking her about the lines she could see on her skin.
Kimmey explained that the lines were stretch marks, some of which had formed when she was a “little older” than her daughter is now and some of them were from when she was pregnant.
Noticing her daughter looking inquisitively at her Kimmey added:
“They are shiny and sparkly, aren’t they pretty?”
Her daughter replied: “Yes, I like this one the best, it’s so glittery. When can I get some?”
Kimmey told her daughter: “Oh you will get your glitter stripes when you get a little bit older baby!”
Taking to Facebook and Instagram to share the anecdote with her followers on 20 March, the mum-of-two, from Florida, US, cautioned other mothers:
“It matters how we talk to our daughters about our bodies. They are listening. They are asking. And it is up to you to help them shape how they will feel about these things.
“Will you continue the shame that society has placed on you? Or will you teach her a new way of love?”
Within two days Kimmey’s Facebook post had more than 1,000 likes and her Instagram post had topped 3,000.
So she took to Instagram to share her gratitude and elaborate on her body-positive message.
“Talking to our children about our bodies is so critical,” she wrote. “The limiting beliefs we have now as adults were formed as children.
“Even if you aren’t directly telling a child that they are fat or unworthy, by saying those things about yourself you have indirectly led them to believe it about themselves.
“It will never ever be wrong to encourage a young person to love their body, even when that body doesn’t match society standards, even when you think that body might yield some bullying, self hate is never the answer.
“Teaching them to see the good in themselves and equipping them with strong beliefs that every body is a good body, will speak volumes as they grow older and will create a new fierce loving generation with humility and that is the best gift we can all give.”