When I was growing up, my mom had a healthy body image. She was never rail thin, nor probably entirely pleased with her physical appearance, and yet she didn’t make excuses. I think she embraced herself — imperfections and all. She supported my sister and me as well by not disparaging our physical appearances either. Thinking back on this, I’m sort of surprised, because our family was big on showing love by making fun of each other (and still are!). Somehow, before the age of prevalent eating disorders and political correctness in regards to body image, my mom knew that it was an area around which she should tread lightly.
I give my mom full credit for my healthy body image, and I can only hope and pray that it will filter down another generation to my tween daughter as well. After reading Dana Chadwick’s You’d Be So Pretty If . . .: Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies–Even When We Don’t Love Our Own, I realize that my self-esteem in regards to my appearance is directly due to my mother’s and grandmother’s influence.
Dara Chadwick wrote the Shape magazine Weight Loss Journal when her daughter was a teenager, and her worry about her daughter’s impression of all the focus on weight loss led her to investigate the effect that a mother’s body image baggage has on her daughters. This book is not so much about making peace with your body as about preventing you from passing it on to your daughters.
Dara Chadwick covers it all —
- Body-image builders for your daughters — including letting them express themselves through clothes etc.
- What we should say and do — and NOT say — if our daughter really is overweight (big clue: she already knows)
- Helping your daughter manage expectations and reactions from others — friends, enemies, etc.
- And of course — protecting our girls from eating disorders.
This is a great book that I recommend to all mothers and grandmothers to daughters. Yes, there are things I’m doing right, but there were things I’ve not even thought about as being harmful to her healthy body image.
For more, check out the You’d Be So Pretty If blog.
Sometimes Jennifer Donovan wishes she felt a little less comfortable in her skin. Maybe then she wouldn’t be so accepting of the 10 (15? 20?) extra pounds she carries. However, given the choice, she’d rather be a few pounds overweight than struggle with an unhealthy body image. Read more of her self-reflective ramblings at her blog Snapshot.
This is one that I remember you mentioning as part of your stack that really intrigued me. I have a terrible body image (of a most definitively extra LOTS of pounds), and I know that weight is something that my mom has always struggled with as well. I grew up watching her go through every fad diet there was (seriously? cabbage soup and nothing else??), and I still haven’t figured out how to maintain a healthy eating/exercising lifestyle. One of my biggest fears about my daughter is this exact issue– I MUST read this book! Thanks for bringing it to our attention. (And I LOVE your signature line on this post!)
Please count me in for this great giveaway.
Linda Kish says
I have always had a terrible body image even thinking I was fat at 108 lbs. Now I am 190, many years older and more accepting of myself. I would love to read this book.
lkish77123 at gmail dot com
It’s a lot easier said than done, I’m finding. I’d love some tips.