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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

DD (8) thinks she's 'fat, ugly and spotty'

(11 Posts)
shrinkingnora Sat 26-Jan-13 22:32:36

Just wanted to update this in case it helps someone else.

We have discussed many aspects of body image over the last few weeks and the things that have had the most impact are:

The fact that airbrushing is the norm. We looked at loads of pictures of celebrities and models before and after airbrushing and discussed the differences between the two. We did this with DS1 and both DC made sensible comments about how bland all the people ended up looking and how curves were removed and they found that weird.

We talked about the importance of wearing clothes that fit as you're growing - sounds silly but ill-fitting clothes make you feel horrible.

And we talked lots (and still are mulling this one over) about how we feel about ourselves being more important and that good deeds and having fum shine out of people. We talked about who we knew in real life that was utterly beautiful and not one of DD's suggestions was someone who would be considered conventional beautiful. They were powerful independent women who do sport and challenging jobs. Result!

TreadOnTheCracks Sun 06-Jan-13 20:14:11

Very glad to read that. Sounds very positive.

shriekingnora Sat 05-Jan-13 21:43:10

Thank you, very kind of you to say so! We have had a lovely chat again today and she is feeling a bit better about things. My sister (who I had told about this last night) was here earlier and said lots of good things to DD but in a rather brilliantly subtle way.

TreadOnTheCracks Sat 05-Jan-13 21:38:37

Good luck. The world we live in is a minefield.

You sound like a great mum who is doing her best to look out for her daughter.

shriekingnora Fri 04-Jan-13 23:08:39

Have ordered that book and also 'Siblings without rivalry' so i can stop DS1 telling her she's fat. Thanks for listening.

shriekingnora Fri 04-Jan-13 22:57:16

Good advice, thank you. I do try to avoid things like that. We have talked about how the ugliest people are those that do horrible things and are miserable and frowning. I also told her about airbrushing and the madness that surrounds the media.

TreadOnTheCracks Fri 04-Jan-13 22:49:48


Is a book I found very interesting.

You are right to try and protect her from any talk about dieting. Hard isn't it. I never talk about it in front of DD, but it pops up everywhere.

With my own DD (7) I have had some little chats about real beauty, does it really matter what someone looks like? would you rather have a friend who is kind and fun or one who is "beautiful" ? and just started her thinking about it.

I am also careful about what I allow on TV. Friends kids are starting to watch some dreadful American "teen" programmes which focus very much on "barbie" type girls making a fuss about fashion and boyfriends. I will steer her away from that for as long as I possibly can.

shriekingnora Fri 04-Jan-13 22:30:56

I have mentioned it to MIL before but will have to say something again. I no longer diet and in fact feel good about myself for the first time in decades at the moment. We have talked about the importance of fuelling your body properly and how fitness is much more important than shape. She definitely gets a good old endorphin rush from sport. She is just that body type. And her two best friends are very, very thin. Thanks for replying.

JustAHolyFool Fri 04-Jan-13 22:27:29

Oh your poor daughter, that's sad.

I'm not sure about books. I think you're doing the right thing getting her into plenty of sports.

Have you asked your MIL not to talk about weight in front of her? And rather than going on diets yourself, could you just instigate a healthy eating regime in your house and stick to it?

I really think that she probably is picking up on other's low self esteem about body image: it is such a prevalent thing these days that it's hard to avoid.

shriekingnora Fri 04-Jan-13 22:18:53

Hopeful bump

shriekingnora Fri 04-Jan-13 22:02:12

Her self esteem is at an all time low and I am desperate to help but without making a big deal about it. She is active and fit (swimming 1x week, rugby 2x week, bike rides, scooting, family walks etc) and probably has a higher than average BMI (think a bit of puppy fat but not rolls or bulges). She also has very sensitive skin (dermatagraphism) and gets odd spots and hives because of that. I was exactly the same age as her when I began to hate the way I looked and it has coloured the last 29 years of my life. I am probably to blame for some or all of this tbh as I have been on and off diets since she was born. I try not to talk about it in front of her and when MIL goes on about her own weight issues I always try to steer the conversation away from it but I feel she is learning this from being around people who have low self esteem.

Are there any books etc that we could read? Have had a google but nothing seems quite right. She is beautiful and precious and I hate to see her miserable.

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