I try –admittedly not hard, but I do try– not to go around mother-bashing. First of all, the county sheriff took away my baseball bat after an ugly incident involving varying opinions on sequins for day (IT’S STILL NOT OKAY, HOW DO PEOPLE NOT SEE THAT???) and secondly my own mother is going to make me a very wealthy woman when the tell-all is through and I don’t want to give away any spoilers.
BUT one of the things I’ve noticed, particularly after last week’s fad dieting question is the cycle of either an overweight or an overly weight-conscious mother putting her own daughter (who may or may not be overweight herself) on diets.
Someone please tell me that’s not happening anymore. That our mothers were just uninformed products of their ages. Right?
It’s something I wrestle with regularly. Almost every Especially Fat girl I know has food/body/diet issues that were actively passed down from their female relatives, usually mother. Sometimes grandmother. I got a triple punch of mother, grandmother AND great grandmother –whose last words to me on this earth were “Have you always been so fat?”– and although I’m clearly pretty okay re: food issues and whatnot, I don’t pretend it didn’t affect me and sometimes I get bitter.
But does it do any good?
I don’t think so. I mean sure it lets me work up a righteous huff and Lord knows there are few things in the world I love than a good righteous huff (Hermès is one, that thing with my ankles is another) but since I’m not having any kids of my own I don’t have to worry about inadvertently passing on body image woes.
I’d be interested in hearing from mothers of daughters who are overweight, or who might someday become big girls, on your successes and pitfalls negotiating a way to healthy body image. If you’re unhappy about your weight do you take it out on your daughter? Is your daughter overweight and you want to encourage her to drop some pounds for whatever reasons? I can see the temptation of wanting a girl to have the social advantage of thinness, but does it really work to try to enforce it?