She said “fat” to my kid! :O

Something I’ve struggled with since childhood was people constantly making weight comments in a deregatory way. My weight has fluctuated all during my childhood and until now but I’ve never been to the point where it’s an unhealthy weight gain, just a little chub. Because of the mean comments I’d gotten at an age too early, I made it a thing not to use the word “fat” in a joking way in front of my kids. People struggling with weights issues is not a funny thing at all. We’re not inside people’s heads to know where they’re at in their lives and personally, I don’t think making fun of people’s appearance or intellect is a good thing to do. It’s just not my thing and I’d like to raise my kids with that mindset also. Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way and we have no right to comment or bully another person of their shortcomings. 

To elaborate on the heading of my post, I have to share a small story that happened recently. My daughter is almost five by the way and I’ve never heard her say the word “fat” or comment on someone’s size. Her uncle or dad bought her a Hershey’s chocolate bar and that day we had a relative over. My daughter isn’t an irresponsible candy eater so she broke one block of chocolate and stored the rest in the fridge to be consumed over a weekly period, also to be shared with her younger sister. In my opinion that’s not so unreasonable, was it? Well, my relative proceeded to tell my daughter that chocolate will make her fat and that she shouldn’t eat it. While I do get concerns about monitoring what kids consume, many parents give their kids a little chocolate occasionally and they don’t do it in a way that’s harmful for them. If I’m doing something unknowingly as a parent, I would appreciate any good advice I can get so I’m not mad she said that to my kid but I am concerned about bullying my kids for something she eats when it’s not harmful to her.

Well, my daughter doesn’t even know what “fat” means so she resumed doing whatever it was that she was doing. She’s slender by the way so I don’t know why a grown person would want to make such a young child aware of body shaming. My husband and I, her parents, do a pretty good job of balancing healthy nutritional meals with treats in between. 

What makes this topic sensitive for me  was bullying. I hid my head in my lunch bag to eat at school, I was terrified of eating in public. I’ve starved myself, thrown up food after meals and it took me almost all of my life to combat the bullying and taunts from people around me. I’ve seen girls of all shapes and sizes being bullied by people who are just hateful And while it may never fully end, the best thing we could do for our children is to educate them on how to deal with bullies as well as how not to be a bully.

As always thanks for reading. Drop me a line in the comments, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Xo Kat

Barbie’s Impact on Body Image

people-1105591_1920I’ve read a lot of studies and paid attention to this topic for a number of years now and it’s left me with my own take on the matter. Many articles point out that Barbie’s unrealistic body measurements are unhealthy and it’s impacting our girls in a negative way. I’ve seen many parents opposed to the idea of their kids playing with Barbie dolls and opt for dolls with more realistic measurements. Another issue that seems to be popping up is Barbie’s “trashy” look, the dresses that she wears aren’t suitable for little girls.

Now I just stated what I’ve gathered over several years, not my actual opinion. Firstly the people that do spend money on surgeries to look like a doll are few and it’s definitely not a doll problem. Is a body image problem. But is Barbie really impacting girls to want to dress in skimpy dresses and acquire unhealthy sized waists?

I was born in the Caribbean, brown skinned and definitely not slim and I absolutely loved playing with Barbies as well as my cousins and friends. It never crossed my mind that I needed to be like my fair skinned, blue eyed, skinny Barbie. Of course we thought her very pretty and fashionable but she was a doll. We were able to differentiate a doll’s body and real life bodies. As for her dresses, I was raised in a conservative house and never questioned why Barbie got to be sexy and I didn’t. I didn’t even know what sexy was. It was just the way the doll dressed and it was just the way I dressed in “real life”.

Even if you don’t allow your children to play with superficial Barbies, they are going to see women with all different body types all around them that may or may not cause them to question their own body size. The skinny girl wants more hips, more boobs, the fat girl thinks the skinny girl has it easier but it’s never really the case. We will all criticize ourselves one way or another. My point is if you raise your children with a good head on their shoulders, Barbie won’t have that kind of effect on them.

As a child I felt like Barbie’s different careers were more interesting than the way she looked. I never really thought about it at all until recently with the body shaming. Also in more recent times people are praising the companies for making more curvy dolls and a wider variety which is a good thing but it shouldn’t just be a good thing because you didn’t teach your children to differentiate between reality and pretend play. Teach your children to love their bodies and accept that we are all different shades, shapes and sizes. Let them know that it does not take away from who they are as a person inside.

xo Kat