Are our self-deprecating natures harming our children?

weighing scalesLaura Roberts writes the blog Pass the Sedatives, she has written blogs before but they’ve always fallen by the wayside. Now she needs her own corner of cyberspace to rant, ramble and connect. Mummy to Little B – the best accident to ever happen to her – she contemplates a major issue with many women weight and wonders what the long term effects will be on our watching little ones. Please welcome her to the BritMums community

I sat and listened to a friend today explain to me why she couldn’t possibly go on holiday and be seen on a beach in a swimsuit until she had lost ‘at least three stone’. My friend is not fat. She is not even close to being an unhealthy size and looks perfectly natural and healthy whilst walking down the street. However, she perpetually agonises over her weight, has been known to have mass crying fits when not being able to fit into clothes that she used to, she also weighs herself on a regular basis only to feel inferior.

I realise here that I am not only describing my friend, but traits of my own behaviour and probably the behaviour of most women out there and even reading this post. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t read articles, or facebook updates or tweets from other mums about weight/ size/ body type, and this got me thinking.

Are we however concious or unconciously, passing it on to our children?

In 20 years will we have a bunch of kids who are completely miserable and unhappy with their bodies? Yes, I know we read all about body obsession perpetually, in magazines, on the telly, in the paper, online. Everywhere you turn there is a red circle encompassing cellulite on a celebrity’s perfectly natural and well-formed thigh, and in our celebrity magazine and gossip mass culture there are very obvious external sources that will undoubtly ply our offspring with unattainable gender stereotypes, but what I’m saying is, should we as mums not be reversing that affect in the safety of our own homes? Starting with, being comfortable in ourselves.

As a child, my family was always overweight. I can remember my parents constantly talking about themselves dieting or needing to lose weight, and this as a child, however subconcious, sunk in. I have had an unhealthy obsession with my weight since I became aware of its concept around the age of 10 years old.

No matter how healthy and slim I got, I always felt fat and overweight. I bought into the celebrity diets, the ‘circle of truth’, the diet pills, gym memberships, eating as little as possible and even made myself vomit once or twice. None of it ever gave me a body that I aspired to have, or made me any happier in the process.

It is only since I have become a parent that my issues surrounding my body have dissipated at least to a lower level. I have come to accept my wobbly bits, stretch marks, cellulite and all the bits that make me a natural and individual woman. Having said that, I am as guilty as the next person to talk about losing weight, weighing myself in front of B, and pointing out all the little imperfections of myself to my poor OH, who doesn’t give a damn. I worry, that B will pick this unattractive and ungratifying trait up.

I am determined to stop. To stop comparing myself to other women, celebrities in particular, who have photoshop on their side, and not let my uneasiness about weight and looks consume her innocent ideas on the subject, in which we are all beautiful and equal, no matter what we look like or how much we weigh. Maybe we could learn something from the children on this one.

Laura RobertsPass the Sedatives records the daily musings, ramblings and idiosyncrasies of Laura and her daughter Little B. Sometimes they try to be funny – sometimes they succeed, but for the most part they just amble along being themselves and Laura tries desperately to retain some sentiment of sanity throughout the challenge that is motherhood. A friendly pair, they like to connect with other mums, and Laura reads what can only be amounted to hundreds of other blogs to try and figure out if she’s doing it even the littlest bit right. So far, it’s not going too diabolically. Connect with Laura on Twitter @passthesedative

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1 Comment

  1. 07 August 2012 / 16:13

    It’s funny, I have never gone on about my weight/fat in front of the kids. Like most women, I would love to lose a few pounds but I’ve never been “fat” or even overweight and my kids wouldn’t have heard me complain about it. However, my 19 year old daughter (who is 5’8″ and slim) is terribly unhappy with her looks – almost from head to toe. Not quite sure why that has happened, and I’m sure a therapist would have a field day with it, but I know it’s not hearing it from me. So despite my best efforts, she’s still succumbing to the pressure from elsewhere.