DD starting to notice/comment on other's bodies.....(10 Posts)
DD has just turned 6, and has recently started to notice/comment on other people's bodies. Interestingly, her comments almost all have to do with 'being fat' or people having 'big bottoms'. There are rarely comments about other aspects of appearance - tall/short, hair/eye/skin colour, curly/straight hair, etc.
I grew up with a mum who made frequent/negative comments about the appearances of her children, and most everyone else. My sisters and I have all struggled with negative body images. Consequently, I never comment on people's bodies in a negative way, so I suppose she is picking this up from schoolmates. DD's comments don't come often, but they do seem to be in her consciousness.
I want dd to have a postive self image, but also want her to be non-judgemental of others. How would you respond to these comments when they come?
Of course adults will look big and fat to dd if she's only 6. Or is she talking about her peergroup?
I would not immediately assume she is being derogatory, and say things like, oh yes, people come in all shapes and sizes, variety is the spice of life etc.
But if she is being judgmental, do you think she could have picked it up from her grandmother?
Yes I think we are a bit scared of the word "fat" which if all the value judgements were removed from it, is just a descriptive word about the size / shape of someone's body.
I think if she is starting to notice and comment on people's sizes, you could maybe do a bit of propaganda yourself and talk about "X's lovely curvy shape" or "Y's strong arms". I know it is a bit contrived, but I think even young girls like this pick up negative messages from the media about normal body shapes, and we have to work a bit to counteract this.
If she says "so and so is fat" you could say "mmm, I suppose so. And she has beautiful dark hair, doesn't she?" or whatever, not acting shocked or disapproving, but just accepting that people are different shapes.
But also accept her use of the word 'fat'. For you it probably has strong overtones (undertones?), and deep down you feel uncomfortable about hearing it, but for her it's probably just descriptive. Anyway, think of what her eye-level view of the world is - she probably sees a lot of bottoms because of her height, and no doubt teachers bending over to talk to pupils at nearby tables present an impressive spread.
I think htat immediately 'moving on' to anoher aspect will eventually begin to ring warning bells fo your dd: "Mum doesn't like that word, there's something wrong with fat".
I remember, when aged about 4, watching tv in a neighbour's house when she got between me and the tv with her vacuum cleaner. I was not popular when I asked her to get her big bottom out of the way!
Yes good point PC. I didn't mean to suggest moving quickly on but I can see that my quote does give that message.
Earlybird, my dd (7) is exactly the same, and will comment on such things, and it hurts me too because we are both sturdy, tall girls (her shape is just the same as mine at that age)and tbh, I have to seriously watch what I eat or I put it on v quick,always have always will.
Subsequently we talk a lot about 'health' and being 'healthy', however she has this in her head now and is still making comments about other people, "Ooh, they're not healthy look how fat they are" Hmmm, guess my plan backfired!
I do hope it is like Elasticwoman and Frannny says and its not derogatory and merely observational. Also, I have to say I do see the humour in 'big bottoms', being a proud owner of one myself
LOL impressive spread too!!!
I have been thinking about this some more, and remembering when I was nannying for girls of this age, they were definitely obsessed with big bottoms. I was bigger then, but I have never, ever had a big bottom yet they used to laugh and tease me often about my "big bottom", and played a game called Big Bottoms which they told their mother I had taught them
It was all done in a humourous way, the same way a 5 year old will say poo or whatever for a joke. I think big bottoms is just the rudest and funniest thing they can think of at this age - long may it last!
I am definitely going to stay sitting down when I read with DDs class now - I dont want to present an impressive spread!
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