Are You Unconsciously Body-Shaming Your Daughter?
Often we don’t realize that our words and actions – even when we don’t really intend to- can cast serious effects on someone. The next time you say something casually to your daughter that can shame her for the body type she has or injure her self-image, eventually it might even become quite devastating. Eating disorders are commonplace and to put it straight- it doesn’t develop within a day or two or even a week for that matter. Our physical shapes are often determined by the mental state too, so better take that into a note. Not even one single factor is responsible for weight gain. So assessing these factors is more important than simply passing a comment out of nowhere. Worse, body shaming from a loved one can be even more damaging! If you thought your words didn’t or can’t make a huge impact, take a look at how it can unconsciously affect your child. Maybe, you should try changing these behaviors at the earliest.
Setting Certain Standards Regarding Female Physique
Growing up, most of us have probably heard “real women have curves” or the same old “I wish I was skinny like you”. Ever wondered where these came from? These are notions held by us for ages and these phrases, even when contrasting to each other, still seem like compliments. In case your daughter has insecurities about her body, these can prove detrimental.
The implication that only curvy women fall under the group of ‘real women’ or ‘skinny’ being the next goal can create many issues within her and her social surroundings. So, be mindful of what thoughts you project on to her. The best would be to compliment some other traits in her- like hobbies or intellect. That definitely takes off the unwanted energies around bodies and diverts her attention to something productive.
Do Not Use The Term ‘Fat’
So what if it’s your own body – the word ‘fat’ is usually negative. It might be innocuous to you hearing ‘she’s so fat now’ or ‘I’m getting fat; but for those who are already battling with this issue, these statements are akin to attacks! When your daughter notices you talking in the same manner even for other people, she’ll invariably start raising questions of her own value before you.
The best thing would be not to use the word ‘fat’. Even when you feel like losing weight, resort to something like ‘lowering the blood pressure or ‘thyroid’ or ‘good to run about, so desserts are better skipped’. It’s all about cultivating positive weight loss goals.
Negative Reactions Towards Outfits
Daughters often like to become experimental when trying to dress up. So phrases like ‘it’s pretty revealing’ or ‘I’m not sure if that flatters your body type’ mean you’re questioning her choices. It will undermine her very confidence and self-image.
And this can be even worse if you happen to be someone in her life who she trusts blindly and even feels comfortable trying to go for a daring look. Instead, try complimenting her choice or suggest ways and means to improve the overall look, like accessories, hairstyle, or even makeup that can accentuate her beauty.
Being Critical About Her Food Choices
Who likes following orders or hearing instructions now and then? So if you constantly harp before your daughter ‘don’t eat that or else you’ll become fat’, it might create some negative tendencies in her. Suggesting food choices is a wiser thing to do, so you can say ‘try this’ or ‘this tastes better’, but steer clear of some judgemental suggestions like ‘is eating that cake really important?’ To put it even more clearly- this shouldn’t be done with anyone actually.
No one has given the authority to question someone’s food choices. Rather, if you have to pitch something forward, demonstrate a practical and kind way of doing that. To indulge in a judgemental attitude means you’re even judging your own daughter. Additionally, you can ask her a qualitative question like ‘how do you enjoy this. Even better would be to drive the conversation to possibly non-food routes.
Try and create a familial space that would assist your daughter to build a better self-image of herself. You only teach her to adopt healthy practices if you cut out ic phrases and resultant actions.
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