The next well-intentioned asshole who comments on my daughter’s weight is going to get a well-intentioned punch to the throat.
An Early Start
It started when my daughter was about 18 months old- strangers, acquaintances and even family members would stop to kindly let me know that I “had no need to worry, she will surely lose that baby fat.” I wasn’t worried.
By the time we hit her two year checkup, our doctor was assuring me that I had no reason to be concerned about her weight or put her on a diet. Not because I had asked, and not because our doctor is an asshole, but because as a family practitioner, he had seen too many parents concerned enough that their baby or toddler was in the 90th percentile in weight that they wanted to start restricting calories. It’s not surprising that eating disorders affect girls at an alarmingly young age.
In our case, I feel like a lot of this feedback is based on the assumption that since I am thin, it must be a priority for me that my daughter is as well. It’s not. I give not one single shit about her weight. Her health and happiness? Of course. The size of her thighs? Not a flying fuck. It should also be noted that I have been all sorts of weights and all sorts of happy at each of those weights.
More Than a Number
Anyone who knows Stella will tell you that she is funny, smart, and kind, that her laughter fills a room. She is gorgeous, both outside and in. She is also extremely selective about the people she gives her time and energy to, or even her eye contact for that matter. You have to work, and occasionally buy, Stella’s attention. She’s basically the mean girl from middle school. This used to bother me, but over time, I’ve come to see it as a good thing, particularly since the world is full of assholes who make disparaging comments about a toddler’s weight.
The comments have subsided since Stella has “thinned out” (not my words), but she’ll probably always be at the top of her height and weight range. The good news is that, at four, Stella also does not give one flying fuck what you think about her body shape or size; she has never considered that her weight has an impact on her worth as a person or her value as her mother’s daughter. And if we can accomplish anything as her parents, it will be to make damn sure she never does.
Until then, mouths shut or dukes up assholes.
For more thoughts on raising strong girls, read A Not So Quiet Beauty.
As always, thanks for stopping by Beer and Junk!