Mothers can be our first and worst body-shamers — but here’s how to deal
Look ma, no fat
by Ari Bines
It's tough coming to the hard conclusion that the person who brought you into this world is the very same one who made you feel less-than-worthy with everlasting body-shaming.
A mom is every girl's first encounter with body-shaming. And while it's tough carrying that kind of resentment, it's something that doesn't go away for a while in our adult lives.
She disguises it as wanting you to be healthy
I felt a sense of dread set in at my annual checkups. My mother would be in the room with me when nurses would announce my weight, and she took it as the perfect opportunity to bark at me about I shouldn't have scarfed down that second slice of pizza or how I should stop drinking sugar-filled ginger ale.
My mom just fat-shamed me again :/ I wna cry omfg bye
— lieanne? (@sunnyvcbes) February 1, 2016
In as much time as you spend trying to justify what you ate, you could’ve completed your face mask and nail care regimen. So why bother? You’ll waste your time fighting a losing battle because she’ll just tell you how ungrateful you are, and that you should be thanking her for looking out for you.
She’ll say she doesn’t want you to be alone forever
It's pretty sad that moms will attribute your single life to being "too fat to love." Hearing commentary like that from a parent is only good for banishing whatever shreds of confidence you had left.
Mom just fat shamed me guess who’s not eating all the food I was gonna eat
— Jasmine (@illestjaasmine) November 23, 2017
While this is one of the most common things I heard throughout my teenage and young adult years, I never let it stop me from searching for a guy that would like me for who I was — and you should do the same. If he can't get with your baby fat phase, then he doesn't deserve you during your curvy glow-up.
She did most of her fat-shaming on your shopping trips
Malls and moms make the worst combinations because you've given her license to criticize not only your size, but your taste in clothing.
My mom did not just fat shamed me but now she sluts shames me too… i am noping the fuck out of that house
— LilyDangerXXX (@JewniverseGyaru) February 23, 2018
Even in those rare moments of discovering some respectable clothing on the rack, your mom would find a way to make you insecure for daring to even try it on. Now that I'm a grown ass woman, though, I shop completely in my own without the pestering commentary about "that jean cut isn't the most flattering, is it?"
Talking with her about it will only improve your relationship with her
A lot of parents assume since they're responsible for your existence, they have every right to talk to you any way they want. But the reality is they're unaware of the negative imprint they're leaving on you, so it’s your job to make them aware. Otherwise, you're just suffering in silence.
My mom: fat shamed me my entire life
Me, on a diet: Can I get my portion baked not fried?
Also my mom: no but u can just skip eating today:)
— YesBut (@DeadRosncrantz) February 16, 2018
Understand your health will always be a main concern of hers, so explain exactly how she's impacted you mentally.
Discussing my own health and weight in a respectful manner with my own mom probably would have saved me a lot of tears in the girls' bathroom, and might have eliminated any thoughts of suicide.
Make it your business to tell her exactly how her comments have hurt you, past or present. Don’t hold anything back or you won't get the closure you're seeking. Serious conversations may feel like a downer, but you don’t want to end up resenting her more than you already do. It's tough at first, but you'll both be better for it.