I have a friend who has considered herself fat for as long as I’ve known her (decades). We are the same size. I have never been skinny, but also never have viewed myself as overweight. Two women. Same size. Entirely different perceptions of our bodies.
I have other friends who wish they weren’t so thin, were taller, were shorter, had a bigger chest, had a smaller chest. Feel all the feels, mamas, but always remember there is just one you!
A movement started about 50 years ago to end discrimination and fat-shaming against people who didn’t fit neatly into what society determined to be the ideal body shape and size. Over the years, society started to embrace that “skinny” didn’t mean “better.”
The term “body positive” arrived in the late 1990s, along with the website https://thebodypositive.org, which offers resources to help people to love their body shape.
And today, there’s a new buzzword: Body neutrality. This shifts the focus from I love my body to I love what my body can do for me. In other words, you may not love your body every day, but you appreciate that it allows you to drive a car, care for your children or take a hike in the mountains.
Physical + Mental Health
Studies indicate that girls and women are more likely to face challenges with body image. Teen girls, specifically, sometimes struggle. But we can help them. Here are some great ideas from the Mayo Clinic:
- Set a good example.
- Use positive language.
- Explain the effects of puberty.
- Talk about media messages.
- Check out what your child is reading, scrolling through or watching and discuss it.
- Monitor social media use.
And if it’s you who is struggling? Don’t get caught in the comparison trap, mama. Be kind to yourself. You are doing amazing things! Get out there and enjoy life. Slip on that adorable swim dress or teeny bikini this summer—whatever makes you feel good about yourself.
You. Are. Beautiful.
Below is a collection of stories written by moms throughout the City Mom Collective network. These will inspire you to love yourself and to help your children do the same.
Loving My Body + Myself