Fat child vs Skinny child

Lisamarie - posted on 03/11/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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We all know obesity is on the rise and anorexia has always been among us but how do we decide which one to protect our children from??

Of course, we as parents try our best to feed our children healthy foods and maybe the odd treat of "fatty" foods but in a society where everyone is obsessed with our children not getting fat are we neglecting the needs of the anorexic??

I tell my children they are beautiful everyday and sure I have the odd lumpy bumpy bits after two children but I would never put myself down in front of them or anyone else. But in a media ridden world we can't protect our children forever and soon enough they are going to clock on that it's not good to be (what they assume is) fat.



The reason I bring this up is something I saw on TV about 10 year old girls having their photos taken and airbrushed to 10 different pictures, their bodies skinnier in each photo and they ALL chose the skinniest picture as their favourite. They proceded to say that they didn't want to be fat (size 12 according to them) and fat people shouldn't wear make up because they are ugly and shouldn't try to get noticed!!

Is this a case of misguided parenting or media twisting our childrens mind that skinny is better???

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Hannah - posted on 03/12/2010

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I recently read in a magazine about the issues you can face with boys vs. girls and self-image was a big one for girls - obviously. I read one of the best ways for a mother to raise their daughter is avoiding certain comments and acting in a certain way. It explained that a mother should never analyze their looks too long in the mirror or make comments about how they have big thighs, etc. in front of their daughter. Even asking a daughter how she looks before a night out can give her the idea that she needs approval and focus too much on what others think. When you get your daughter dressed up for an event (school play, picture day, etc.) don't spend the next 30 minutes talking about how great she looks and beautiful she is. Obviously, it's not bad to tell them they look nice, but don't hang on the subject because that's when they will start remember all the attention they got when they looked so pretty - and may use that for attention later on too. I agree with some of the statements I read in the magazine and just wanted to share!

Celia - posted on 03/13/2010

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I was 110 pounds before I got preggers with my son Asher. I am now 145 and loving every roll... I have never been sexier! I also never had an ass to speak of so I am swiveling my hips at every oportunity!
Altho I am happy at being curvy I dont know how far that would go if I had a baby girl instead of a baby boy.
When I was pregnant I actually burst into tears when shopping for a baby shower present for a friend who had a girl. Everything was pink and there were short skirts in the girls section with tube tops and knee highs... but not cute socks... kneee highs with teen attitude for 4 year olds! little purses with matching shoes and jackets and belts for toddlers!
What is going on where we dress our girls like mini-adults in all the latest trends and not expect them to carry the weight of their looks into their childhood and teen years affecting them for the rest of their lives?
I am so glad I had a boy... I can only hope he finds a girl with curves who puts only enough weight into her wardrobe to look clean and reflect her personality... not to bare as much flesh... sorry bones... as possible.
If he brings home a plastic princess then I'll need all the help in the world to prevent me from moving the family to the woods and stocking the shelves with rations to wait out the insanity of what we find desireable and attractive in our messed up world!!

Isobel - posted on 03/12/2010

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I have been all over the map with my weight lately...I was a fourteen when I left my husband, then that melted off to an eight, where I stayed for a couple of years now I'm up to a ten (sometimes twelve)...I have never been really "happy" about my weight and I don't think I would be even if I were a two.

With my kids though...we discuss images in the media all the time and I remember when that super skinny model got fired last summer for gaining 5 pounds and they airbrushed her to look crazy skinny, I showed it to my daughter and waited to hear "WOW She's Beautiful!!!" but she only said "huh, they glued some other ladies head onto that body...weird".

We stress strong and healthy in this house, my kids are in swimming and tae kwon do and soccer (you can literally see their abs but they are not skinny) and no foods are banned in our house, BUT they have to ask permission to eat junk food and healthy food is a free-for-all.

Jocelyn - posted on 03/12/2010

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Like Sharon, I am going to try and teach my kids that being healthy is more important than being skinny.
I think that there are certainly some parents that emphasize that skinny is better, and I believe that those parents are just "watering the seed" of anorexia. But the media is certainly to blame as well. I've said it before and I will say it again; everything in moderation.
I really like what Krista said; we need to make sure that our kids are able to appreciate their bodies for what they are capable of, not just how they look.

[deleted account]

I would have chosen the skinniest one too, but I do have a healthy self-image. I know it's okay to be the size I am. I had a baby, but I eat healthy and exercise. Of course I'd like to be skinnier, but if I never lose another pound (or gain instead) I would still be happy with who I am. Despite these media images, if we teach our children how to have self-respect, I think they'll be okay. There may be a few kids who naturally struggle with eating disorders or body dismorphic disorders, and parents should be aware of that. But parents should have a bigger role in a child's life than the media.

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Kimberly - posted on 03/14/2010

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I don't know, but I'm really afraid of making my daughter think this way as she gets older. I feel like skinny is important--but I don't want her to have my tainted views!!! I want her to know that healthy is important. I guess I will just have to keep reminding myself...

Isobel - posted on 03/14/2010

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I hate to say this Celia, but that is not always true...I know twins and one is super skinny and the other is really quite chubby. They were raised in the same house, with the same food and the same rules...and yet...here they are different as night and day.

Celia - posted on 03/13/2010

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I will however put a disclaimer!!
Those who feed their children fast food and are trying to make the world the enemy and their children who are obese for their age normal I have no sympathy!
I think that some peoples chubby may be another persons overweight... but you can tell by looking who is overfeeding their kids or feeding them junk food.
I am speaking only about kids in the normal healthy weight range... I believe anything above or below that need medical and nutritional help.
I have to put this discalimer because apparently North America feels that overweight is healthy and MacDonalds serves food...

Jodi - posted on 03/12/2010

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And yes, I'd say it is English sizes (I assumed so), and a size 12 isn't fat - I am a size 10-12 (depending on the fit and I often size for length and prefer things a little big just to hide the imprefections, LOL). I don't know what that translates to in the US, but I am around 125lb.

Isobel - posted on 03/12/2010

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Oh, and Jodi, when Eve was in grade one she came home crying because one of the super skinny girls had made fun of her for being chubby...then another perfectly normal healthy child told my daughter that all she had to do was suck in her stomach whenever the boys come by ARGH!!! Grade one!

[deleted account]

I've never had curves, but I would probably like them to! I'm referring to this belly fat that won't go away...lol! So what would a size 12 translate to over here in the states?

Lisamarie - posted on 03/12/2010

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Sara, I personally prefer a fuller figure, I LOVE my curves!! And I probably should clarify that the size in the OP was English sizes, not American!!

Sharon - posted on 03/11/2010

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I try to stress that healthy is better than fat or skinny. Some people have mocked fat kids within my hearing - my reply is - "That child is more likely to survive a bout of leukemia and the chemo treatment than your really skinny child." Its true too. The fat child has more reserves to fall back on.



Granted obesity is not good. Therefore I try to emphasize that moderation is important. I don't ban any foods from my house except foie gras and veal. Twinkies, ho-hos, carrot sticks, cut up oranges, bowls of grapes etc are all found here.



I have pointed out that hugging skinny people is uncomfortable and despite their thinness, they are probably not very healthy.



I do try to fight the crazy nasty image we are bombarded with daily. Its a bit tough around here because I was stick skinny as a kid. I could have eaten a tub of lard daily and not gained a pound. I've never stinted myself on anything. If I wanted to eat a bag of potato chips, I did. If I wanted to have candied peanuts and chocolate milk for lunch - I did. NEVER got over 98lbs @5'7". I gained the minimum for a healthy pregnancy for my first pregnancy. I didn't do anything to control my eating but the excessive vomiting played a part.



Now my younger son & daughter are both nearly as skinny. We talk about the best way to get into shape, "bulk out", etc. My kids are not afraid to gain a few pounds in the interest of their health.

Krista - posted on 03/11/2010

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I think a big key is to get our girls involved in physical activities and sports, so that they can appreciate their bodies for what they can DO, not just what they look like. With my kids, I plan on emphasizing being healthy and strong and energetic (I'll have to get my OWN ass in gear at that point, I suppose). I want to bring them hiking, and biking and swimming, and put them in martial arts, and just try to foster an appreciation for the human body and its strength, grace and flexibility, not just its aesthetics.



It's an uphill battle, though -- the messages are pervasive.

Jodi - posted on 03/11/2010

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Interesting question Lisamarie, because just this morning, I discovered something about one of the girls my 5 year old goes to school with. Some of the girls have had issues with this little girl.... I was almost going to post a similar topic myself.



Anyway, to make a long story short, apparently, she has been telling the other girls she doesn't "need' to be smart because she has her looks, and she is going to be a model, so all she has to do is be beautiful and thin. She has gone through the other girls lunch boxes and told them they are eating too much and they will get fat.



Seriously, this is a FIVE YEAR OLD!!!



So in answer to your question, is it the media or misguided parenting? Apparently this girl's mummy told her she would be a model because she is beautiful and needs to eat carefully......



No we can't protect them totally from the media, but as parents, we have no right to be deliberately filling their heads with this shit, and if anything, should be discussing it with them at a level of common sense.



Needless to say I will be doing my absolute best for my daughter NOT to be influenced by this attitude, but I was flabbergasted. My daughter wouldn't honestly even know what a model is.

Rosie - posted on 03/11/2010

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in this case i don't think a parent can shield their child enough. size 0 is all over the tv, magazines, billboards-everywhere. i'm an adult and i logically know that being a size 0 is super skinny and not normal, but i feel that since i'm not a size 4 anymore i don't feel "normal". i'm bombarded with what is normal every time i turn on the tv, i don't see how parents can shield them from all of it.

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