Thursday, August 13, 2015

when you call my daughter fat...

We live in a day and age where we are told on a second by second basis how we should look, what and who we should compare ourselves to, and we inevitably fail to live up to those standards and expectations. We are told that our value as people, especially women, is based upon numbers that tell us that we pass as acceptable, healthy, beautiful, and worthy of love and acceptance.

Well, FUCK that to hell.
Today, when I picked Roslyn up from school, her head was hanging a little low and she walked to my car slightly hunched over, a concerned look across her face. I asked her what was wrong and she told me. A boy at school today had called her fat. I asked her if she thought maybe he was talking to someone else and no, he looked at her in the eye as she was walking by and told her that she was fat. 

And a seed of insecurity was planted in that moment. 

Because when you call my daughter fat...
You tell her that she is less than. 
You tell her that she is unworthy. 
You tell her that she is not beautiful, or healthy.
You tell her that she should not be happy. 
You tell her that the worst thing that someone can be, is fat. 
You make her not want to dance because she has to wear a leotard that day. 
You make her not care about her dreams, and instead care about you. 
You also tell her a lie. 

And you tell her who you are, someone who is bearing an ugliness inside of them.

I am fat. My whole life I have struggled with hating myself. I still struggle with that hate on a constant basis. Apologizing for who I am, the space I take and for those who may have  to even look at me. There are still days where I don't want to leave my house because of how I have been made to feel about how I look. I've canceled or failed to make plans because of how I look. 

I remember the playground and the taunts that came with being overweight... the cries of "Miss Piggy" to the oh so clever "You're fat!". By the time I was 12 I was in a constant cycle of starving myself to making myself throw up anything that I would eat and taking caffeine pills to combat the fatigue I felt from the pure nightmare-ish hell I was enduring as a child.

When I was pregnant with Roslyn and found out that she was a girl, one of the first thoughts I had was a prayer that she didn't genetically take after my side of the family, but Drew's when it came to her weight. When I should have been dreaming of all things pink and mama-daughter moments, I was praying that she didn't get my legs. Because I didn't want her to spend her whole life hating who she was and what she looked like. I wanted more for her than what I dealt with growing up.

I am angry. 
I am angry that that boy lives in a world where he has learned that the quickest and surest way to hurt a girl is to tell her that she is fat. 
I am angry that she believes him and spent 15 minutes crying in my arms, not wanting to go to dance and wanting to quit all together rather than wear a leotard today.  
I am angry that she thinks she needs to lose weight at 10 fucking years old. 
I am angry that with two words that boy planted an insecurity and self loathing in her that can be next to impossible to remove.

I've spent ten years as her mother teaching her how to be a good person.  To be kind, to be caring, to be respectful, to be helpful, to be courageous and to be loving. Teaching her that body shaming of any kind is unacceptable. Teaching her and telling her repeatedly that she is a strong, amazing, healthy, wonderful, smart, talented and loving girl... a good daughter, friend and person- and with two words, a boy can dim her light and make her believe that what I've told her she is is not true.

We have to STOP this nonsense and shaming. 

We have to stop tearing each other down and focus on building each other up. Tell someone that they're beautiful, that you love their shirt or their hair or their shoes, tell them that you admire their intelligence or their humor or their talent. Say ten positive things out loud for every one negative thought you have. Because just as you have the power to ruin a day, you also have the power with your words to make a day.

Please... our daughters lives and happiness depends on it.





2 comments:

  1. As you obviously know, I struggle with weight. I have been on so many diets. But I'm in a spot of trying to love me even with the weight. And that can be difficult to do because my daughter comes home from her Nana and Papa's house and tells me that they told her I need to lose weight. Tonight my mom asked me how I was going to ride rides at Dsineyland with my daughter. I am choosing to not be provoked by this. And while I still despise what stares out at me when I look in a mirror, I know that the inside is what matters most when it comes to loving me, and you know what? The rest will come later. Tell Roslyn that the boy who called her fat more then likely has a bad home life and the only way he sees to voice his distaste with others, which is probably how he is learning from his parents. Oh,and tell Roslyn that while he might need some prayers, he might also need someone to step on the heel of his shoe causing his foot to come out.

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  2. Wow! 1st, I am very sorry that this happened to your beautiful, sweet daughter. Please give her a squeeze for me and tell her that i think she's BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING!! 2nd, WHAT? Really? It's amazing to me how unaccepting and bigoted and closed minded people really are! And then...they breed and it gets passed down!!! The fact is, and i've always told my kids this, bullies are just people who are in pain and want to bring everyone down with them. They hate to see someone happy, so they find some way to cause an injury. I'm sure he's just jealous that Roslyn has an amazingly beautiful, talented and loving family and that she just got back from Disneyland. The best thing she can do, really, is hold her head high, continue to dance and smile and be awesome, and react to him with kindness. Just a smile, or a kind word will do. It will show that she is, in fact the bigger person and the he didn't get to her. Love you all!!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

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