Sometimes, I have a hard time thinking about things to write about and then I read another blog and the ball starts rolling. Cecily had a post yesterday about the body image of young girls and how that effects us as we grow older. I enjoyed reading the comments as much as her post. Its amazing how most women feel about how they look.
I know growing up, I had a very hard time with image and always worrying about how other people thought I looked. The dinner table was a huge part of my life. My father didn't talk to us much throughout the day but during and after dinner, we (the whole family) always sat around the table and talked. So I think I associated food and eating with being happy because those talking sessions made me feel like we were really a family. As I got older, my father would sometimes say, during dinner, things like "You're not going to have another helping are you?" or "Watch it Sheri, that's enough..you don't want to get fatter" meaning he already say me as fat. Another thing he said once to me was "don't you want to be like Susan?" . My older sister was perfect. Good at sports, very smart and pretty. She didn't have freckles, or wasn't the family bawl baby (I was and still am) and always was popular. I always thought she had better clothes than I did and I would take them and wear them which caused HUGE fights. It was hard living in her shadow when I thought my dad saw her as better than I. When I look at pictures of myself from then, I looked healthy and strong, not fat at all and I was pretty in my own way. What did my father see that I didn't? Did he really see me as fat or was it his way of being controlling?
Even to this day, with my weight being such an issue with me, I am embarrassed to see my father because he stills says things. He wouldn't say "Oh my God are you fat", but he would say something like "you looked so much better when you were thinner". Maybe so Dad, but I'm still the same person.
I hope in raising Hannah that Gary & I help her to install good thoughts about herself. I feel that is a very important gift we can give her. The ability to accept herself as she is, to do the best she can at what she tries, and to accept differences in others.