Positive Body Image

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Ella and Hunter had their well visit last week.  Normally I try to schedule them separately but it just didn’t work out that way.  I was little taken back with the comments made to each of them after being weighed.

BOTH of them weigh exactly the same and Hunter is only a few inches smaller than Ella.  They both have a totally different body type. Ella is tall and very lean.  Hunter is big for his age height wise and he is built a little more “thicker”.  He is by no means overweight.  He is just and has always been a thick boy.

As the doctor looked at their charts, he began with Ella.  He went over her height and then her weight.  He then looked at her and said “make sure you stay active, eat healthy, and don’t watch too much TV.”  He then looked at Hunter’s information and said to him “you are a big boy”.  Ummmm……????  Why wouldn’t he say the same things to Hunter about staying active and eating healthy?  I think it is important for kids to hear these things no matter what their weight. I am sure he meant nothing by it.  But it just caught me off guard and I felt like I had to point out all that Ella does on a given week…3-4x’s a week she dances for 2+ hours!  How much more active can she get?

The comment made me think how it could affect a girl.  Especially young girls who are just starting to become aware of their bodies and how other girls look. I feel like there is so much pressure on girls to look a certain way. And raising girls with positive body images is so important.  One comment can destroy all confidence in a girl and set her up for a poor body image.  This could lead to an eating disorder or other self-harming behaviors.

Although I know my doctor meant nothing by it, I made it a point to make sure Ella thought nothing of it.  I am fortunate, for now, that she was not affected by nor gave it a second thought.  I hope this continues.  I know I need to be a good example to her and stop beating myself up for all my flaws.  I want her to grow up knowing that everyone is beautiful no matter what their size or shape.

One thought on “Positive Body Image

  1. Ugh…we are struggling with this and my son. He is 12 and has always been “thicker” because he has always played sports. He takes after my dad and tends to be solid. He does have a belly, and has not hit that big boy growth spurt yet. I hate to hear him say he is fat. We try to tell him that while he does have a little belly, he still has not grown yet. He plays basketball and baseball with only having a month in between each…fall ball, basketball and spring ball. I admit, we don’t always have healthy foods for him, but he loves veggies and chicken! Many people have said they do not consider him fat, but he does weigh a lot more than he should. I just hate that the focus has to be numbers all the time and not what they are eating or doing physically. If you figure things out, please let me know!

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