food, fat & happiness
|an exploration of health, body love and food politics by a fierce, feminist fat girl|
How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.
Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.
If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:
“You look so healthy!” is a great one.
Or how about, “you’re looking so strong.”
“I can see how happy you are – you’re glowing.”
Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.
Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.
Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.
Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don’t go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don’t say “I’m not eating carbs right now.” Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.
Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.
Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you’ll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn’t absolutely in love with.
Prove to your daughter that women don’t need men to move their furniture.
Teach your daughter how to cook kale.
Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.
Pass on your own mom’s recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.
Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It’s easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don’t. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.
Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul."
10 BETTER BODY AFFIRMATIONS FOR YOUNG WOMEN
1. Your body is in flux for the rest of your life. Think of your body as fluid instead of static — it’s always going to change. So get comfortable with those changes.
2. No one will love you or not love you because of your body. You are lovable because you’re you, not because your body looks a certain way.
3. The most intensely personal relationship you’ll ever have is with your body. It’s a lifelong relationship that’s well worth investing in and nurturing the same way you would with loved ones.
4. You don’t owe your body to anyone. Not sexually, not aesthetically. Your body is yours. Period.
5. What someone else says about your body says more about them than it does about you. Look past the actual snark to the person who’s saying it, because it’s only a reflection of what they think of themselves. That’s when you’ll see how little power their words have.
6. Your body is not a reflection of your character. It’s a physical home for the complex and wondrous and unique being that is you.
7. Take up as much space as you want. You don’t have to be small, or quiet, or docile, regardless of your physical size.
8. Everything you need to accept your body is already inside you. There’s no book, or diet, or workout routine or external affirmation that you need to feel good about your body right now.
9. Your body is a priority. It’s always trying to tell you things. Taking the time to listen to is of the utmost importance.
10. Wear whatever you want. Your body shape does not dictate your personal style, and fashion rules that say otherwise are wrong. Dress yourself in a way that makes you feel happy and confident and beautiful, because guess what? You are.
“If you could, wouldn’t you want to be thin?” he asks
If I could, I’d prefer to have wings made of fuchsia feathers,
So that I could soar out over the ocean as the sun set in shades of pink and purple.
If I could, I’d prefer to teleport in a blink
To every corner of the world, to explore and learn
If I could, I’d prefer to own a mansion on the moon
With a ringside view of the stars
If I could, I’d prefer to have the recipe for gold
To ensure nobody goes cold or hungry.
If I could, I’d prefer to whisper secrets to the wind
To be carried like blown leaves to the lonely, filling them with the knowledge that others feel the way they do.
My dreams are so much bigger than “If I could be thin.”
It is not my dream to be smaller,
It is not my dream to be less than who I am.
I dream for more for myself and for the world, not less.
My dreams are of abundance, of beauty, of joy, of compassion, of love."