Last night I was reminded of a quick trip we did to the shops last week. We were in the fruit section, my girls and I. Sophie wasn’t watching where she was going and when she looked up she was faced with a rather large backside. She took a step back had another look and kept going. I for a moment held my breath thinking ‘oh no, here comes the “mum she has a big bum” thing’ But no. Not that day, I did however hear another little girl, and no not one of my other daughters, say something about ‘big’ while pointing.
Proudly I thought, maybe, just maybe I have finally gotten through to my girls.
Sophie HAS in the past, while walking within hearing range of a bigger lady tried to make a conversation about her big backside while I horror-stricken tried to act like I had no idea what she was saying. I obviously looked and sounded like an idiot because Sophie is as understandable a speaker as any adult.
“Wow, mum her bum is really big!”
“What?..um no, I don’t know what you…’
“Her bum. its huge mum. Look!”
“Soph, look at that, is that what your, oh…huh?!”
I was trying to speak over her which made her louder, I was in a panic and didn’t have any clear thoughts to distract her with, I could swear that lady heard and all I wanted to do was scream ‘SORRY’ but if she didn’t hear, then I’d have to explain….It was the first time Sophie had ever done this and I wasn’t prepared in the slightest. *sigh* terrible day.
Bella was horrible too when she was smaller. My mum has said I was shameful as well. Kids just like to state the obvious.
So I set myself a mission back when Bella was at her worst.
To change the way my little girls see things. Being girls they have it tough from the get go. Be thin, be tall, be this be that. What an awfully boring place we would live in if we were all tall, thin and beautiful?!
I am the kind of person who doesn’t care if your black, white, blue, green, big, small, young, old, rich or poor. We are all the same. Equal from the beginning to the end.
So while shopping one day with little Bella and she began to loudly declare that she could see ‘a big black lady’ I didn’t panic, I had a little glance over at that African-American woman and replied ‘Oh isn’t she beautiful?’ Bella stopped for a moment and decided that yes she was. She then proceeded to tell her she was ‘Soooo pretty.’ When we were picking out milk together. Not that Bella was saying she could see ‘a big black lady’ in a derogatory way, but I just felt that it could have been taken the wrong way and thought it would be nicer if the next time she could simply say ‘look at that pretty lady mum.’
Sophie now has gotten quite diplomatic, when going to have a shower with my little girls I usually get a giggle. Sophie will say ‘I like your big bum mum.’ Which then Violet will put in ‘me too mum, your bums so nice.’ And Molly with the excessive use of the word ‘bum’ will begin to repeat it over and over while trying to slap it.
We talk about healthy food at home, not about being ‘fat’ which sometimes in the heat of the moment Bella will call Sophie a little fatty or the such. Sophie gets upset about it and Bella knows the feeling too, girls have called her fat in school AND picked on her for her cute freckles. We now spend afternoons counting each others freckles and whoever has the most is so proud. Bella usually wins!
I would like my girls to have a good body image and self-esteem. I avoid saying anything about cellulite or stretch marks or flabbiness. I just don’t mention it at all. I feel like if they see me thinking its important then they will too. I don’t squeeze pimples or pick at my skin, I do not apply make-up daily, not even monthly. I don’t have the time first of all but secondly I have never been into it. I’ll wear it when going out or special occasions and I don’t have anything against dabbing on some lippy if my girls ask me to, but I do remind them when they say ‘can I have some lipstick to make me beautiful?!’ That I reply with ‘You are already beautiful but if you want some I can do that for you.’
Bella loves wearing some eyeshadow, blush and lippy to a school disco. Which I think is ok, she has little friends who turn up to school daily in make-up, I want my girls to be themselves and be proud of it, but the fun of getting all girly and dressed up for special occasions is a good thing too.
I want my girls to never have to worry about the superficial things that so many of us do spend a lot of time stressing over. Seeing things like mothers giving Botox injections to their 8 year-old daughters on the news is shocking to me, that woman should have just sat down and said to her daughter ‘Your just not good enough the way you are.’ And little girls who feel the need to wear make-up daily can’t be fed positive feed back at home.
I would like my girls to see people for what they can offer and really everyone is ‘beautiful’ in their very own unique way. And if my little girls feel the need to point out specific people I’d rather hear themdeclaring how nice/pretty/happy or kind that person is. Looking beyond the obvious and appreciating the differences everyone has to offer.
Whatever happened to being beautiful on the inside?