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Is this jealousy, or something else?

(8 Posts)
ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 20-Aug-13 21:08:22

DSD (16) has been on the receiving end of some very unpleasant comments from her mum recently - which her mum has also said directly to DP about DSD so we know she's not misinterpreting/exaggerating.

Her mum has called her a tart, criticises the way she makes an effort with her appearance and has a go at her about her choice of clothes, hairstyle etc.

DSD is lovely! She's not in the least bit 'tarty', she wears low-key makeup, has natural hair she wears in a messy-up do; she's outdoorsy and also works in catering so has practical considerations which makes high heels/low cut tops/short skirts totally illogical anyway.

DSD has inherited her mums looks and is naturally beautiful - when her mum was a similar age and slightly older, she did some photographic modelling and she was stunning!

I just don't know how to help DSD; she's really upset that her mum is constantly picking and insulting her appearance - and is beginning to affect her self esteem; not helped by the online bullying she's been subjected to on and twitter about how she looks (typical teen stuff).

Has anyone else's teen been put down by their Mum?

supermariossister Tue 20-Aug-13 21:21:58

not the same situation but my stepmother used to do this, pick at my clothes, say my hair was a state or smelt. it is horrible as a teenager to be waiting for the next insult. If they had a good relationship I would suggest she talks to her and tells her how these comments make her feel. for what its worth you sound lovely and like you would support her and build her up when she does feel down. ask fm is an evil website, I hope your stepdaughter is strong enough to realise some people will say anything to put another down and as someone who had a horrible relationship with my previous stepmum you sound like your doing a fantastic job of looking out for her

brdgrl Tue 20-Aug-13 21:33:56

I might be talking out my ass don't have any direct experience of this. But I know a woman who got similar criticism from her own mother - the mother had been a flight attendant when younger, and went through things like 'weigh-ins' (I guess they were suspended from flying if they'd gained any weight!). The mother (who was lovely in many other ways) was hyper-critical of her daughter once she was a young woman. (She was not critical of her son, my friend.)
My impression was that the mother had learned to be so harsh on herself and to put so much importance on her own appearance, and that she was like this with her daughter because she had just internalized it so deeply. To her, not looking a certain way was a real failure, and she was as hard on herself as on her daughter. It all seemed horribly sad to me, because this woman had been so damaged by really a sort of abuse and now she was damaging her own daughter because she couldn't, I don't know, de-program herself.
Obviously it is still inexcusable.

brdgrl Tue 20-Aug-13 21:34:24

Meant to say, it was your comment about the mum having done some modeling that made me make the connection.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 20-Aug-13 21:45:47

To her, not looking a certain way was a real failure, and she was as hard on herself as on her daughter

That might be a factor; DP has mentioned that DSC's Mum was very focused on her weight and appearance during their marriage which occasionally caused friction over the cost of the diet programmes etc.

It seems inconsistent though - DSD says her mum reminds her daily that she shouldn't eat chocolate because she'll get fatter and spottier (she's neither) and yet she bought DSD a giant bar of chocolate for her birthday and ordered a 10" confectionary-style birthday cake topped with sweets and chocs for the three of them to share!

It's such a shame - DSD is fit and healthy, sporty, dresses appropriately for her activities and isn't even designer-label obsessed; except when it comes to yard-boots!

stepmooster Wed 21-Aug-13 07:40:51

My mother was like this. She wanted my sister and I to turn out to be mini versions of herself who idolised and adored her.

She used to feed us junk food and then call me fat. My mother was image obsessed and I am not, still can't get excited about over-preening.

The more time we spent with dad the worse she was. I followed in my dad's footsteps in terms of career choice. I know my mother thought herself better than him, and my god was she jealous.

My mother had a dream in her head of what her girls were going to look/be like.

The nasty stuff your mum says about you lasts with you forever, your DP needs to say something to the mum and warn her she's messing her daughter up and be proud of who she is.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Wed 21-Aug-13 07:49:10

I'm sorry to hear that stepmooster.

Unfortunately, DPs attempts to reason with his DDs mum fall on deaf ears; she doesn't think he has any role in DSD life so dismissed him and his interfering (as she considers it). DSD has come a long way by rebelling against her Mums insistence that she should have nothing to do with DP - but the constant criticism is driving her further away from her mum.

Part of me thinks it may not be a bad thing; a lot if her mums behaviour is very toxic and damaging.

supermariossister Wed 21-Aug-13 08:16:50

sorry to hear it can't be sorted with a quiet word, in that case I would tell you to keep doing what you are. encourage her, build her up and try to teach her that being happy with who you are is worth ten of any negative comments from anyone

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