For most of my life, I was overweight. About 7 years ago, I finally had enough, went on a diet, and over the next 5 years lost a little more than 100 pounds. I still struggle with my weight. I go though periods of overeating, followed by long stretches of eating almost nothing. I have an incredibly hard time eating in front of people. Shopping for clothes takes a herculean act of bravery on my part. I have pretty much accepted that I will always struggle with these things.
I tell you this, because I think that my preoccupation with my physical appearance has had a negative effect on my children, most especially my girls. Over the past few days, I have listened to Alley Cat talk about her makeup not being “right” before she goes outside to play, her hair not “looking good” and insisting on an immediate haircut, and constant rounds of “do I look fat”. Today, Tinkerbell told me that she is having a breast augmentation at the first opportunity. I should add here, that my kids are amazingly beautiful and all of these concerns are unfounded at best.
After Tink shared her plans to have her body surgically altered, I talked with my girls. I told them first that they are beautiful, and there is no need to worry, and definitely no need for major surgery. I tried to get them to understand, however, that their body image should never define their self worth. I reminded them both of the amazing attributes they both have that have nothing to do with their physical appearance, Cat’s compassion, Tink’s determination. I tried to show them that they have the ability to make enormous impact on this world, to change our world for the better, no matter if they are having a bad hair day or not. I hope they heard me. I hope they understand. Because as beautiful as they are on the outside, you haven’t seen anything until you see who they are on the inside, where it counts.