Mama, middle school is looming and her peers will be tough enough on her (if she’s like most girls, unless she takes charge and becomes the mean one). She doesn’t need you telling her that she’s not good enough as she is now. Because that’s what you did when you made her wear shape wear today. You told her that her body isn’t good enough on it’s own, that it needs help to be show-worthy. You told her at age ten—TEN!—that she’s not meeting your standard of beauty. You told her she’s not good enough for her mom’s approval on her own, and friend? If her mama doesn’t like her JUST the way she is, why in the WORLD would she believe that anyone else will?
Listen, lovely lady. I am not here to shame you. I’ve made plenty of mistakes as a parent and I’ve had to correct my course many times. So today, I’m asking you to change your course on this. You can’t take this back, but you CAN make it right. Take your darling daughter aside. Tell her that you are sorry, that you were wrong, that she looks strong and lovely just the way she is. Talk to her about the unrealistic beauty standards our society has for women, and tell her what really matters is that she is healthy, hard working, and kind to others. Tell her to be thankful for strong legs that carry her wherever she needs to go, for beautiful eyes that see the world around her, for hands that can work and care and love. And most importantly, tell her that she was created by God in His image and that she is beautiful just as He made her. Show her that her identity is in the love of her Creator, not in her dress size.
Buy her a beautiful dress (or whatever SHE wants!) that fits well and feels comfortable. Make a day of it. Take her to do something she loves and that makes her feel loved by you.
And show her this video by volleyball star Gabrielle Reece and her 12-year-old daughter. Blow her mind with two amazing role models who are happy to be BIG AND STRONG.
And if you are really concerned about her weight as it pertains to her health, get healthy with her. Walk together, cook together, make good choices together.
You can build back up what you started to tear down with those Junior Spanx the other day, mama. And I will cheer you on as you do it. But, please, do it soon…your little girl will dwell more and more on her self image with each passing day.
You can do it, mama! I’m cheering for both of you.