As a Fat Kid, My Deepest Wounds Came From Words My Mother Said

With every word, every look, every action, my mom’s messages to me were clear: There’s something horribly wrong with me. My beauty and my worth are conditional. If I don’t lose the weight, I’ll never be pretty. I’ll never have value. And I’ll never be lovable or loved.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Fipps

My mother’s words, looks, and actions when it came to my body and my weight were concrete blocks that formed the foundation of my identity. My self-image. I’ve spent my adult life taking a sledgehammer to each block, chipping away, bit by bit, and clearing away the rubble so I can rebuild my life based on all that is good in me. No matter what my weight, I have intrinsic value and I need to be and deserve to be treated like a valuable human being with great worth. Everyone does.

Parents, when you laugh at a fat person, make a comment about one, or give a disapproving look, you’re telling your child exactly what you think about their fat body. And you’re teaching your child how to treat fat people, including how to treat themselves. Before you do that, pause for a minute. Just a minute. And remember my story. Your kids need you to.


This post originally appeared here, published with permission. Grab a copy of Lisa’s new book, STARFISH and let’s raise kids who are unapologetically their own fabulous selves. 

Lisa Flipps
Lisa Flipps
Lisa Fipps is an award-winning former journalist, current director of marketing for a public library, and an author of middle-grade books. Starfish is her debut novel.

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