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Monday, January 23, 2012

"Mom, I'm fat!"

Rachel Simmons, author of the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, and The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence, as well as an educator working internationally to develop strategies to reduce bullying and empower girls, wrote a great article in her blog ( in which she discusses her daughter's growing grievance with her body image. In her blog, titled "Mom, I'm fat!" -- Rachel unfolds a story in which she tries to educate and teach her child to love herself as she is, beautiful. The heartwarming story touched me, especially in a day and age where young girls (and women of all ages) have redefined the standards of beauty.  Seeing curvy women as beautiful has fluctuated during recent years -- The Marilyn Monroe's of our generation became the Kate Moss', Lindsay Lohan's and Britney Spears' -- the latter of two have openly spoken on their struggles with weight and eating disorders as they fight to fit into Hollywood's definition of beauty.

Simmons story reminds us that we are beautiful for everything we are, chubby thighs and all. And how important it is to constantly reinstate this message to our children, specifically young girls. The National Eating Disorders Association states:
In the United States,
as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Millions more are struggling with binge eating disorder (Crowther et al., 1992; Fairburn et al., 1993; Gordon, 1990; Hoek, 1995; Shisslak etal., 1995). Because of the secretiveness and shame associated with eating disorders, many cases are probably not reported. In addition, many individuals struggle with body dissatisfaction and sub-clinical disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. For example, it has been shown that 80% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance (Smolak, 1996).
More and more women and young girls have found a false realization that skin and bones equals beautiful and any "pudge" on your body is a clear sign that you are fat, unattactive and therefore will be unpopular and unwanted.  More and more children suffer from bullying, low self esteem, alcohol and drug use, early age sex, and although a direct correlation may not be there, it's pretty obvious that our own self worth really impacts our lives in a slough of ways.

This story really touched me. And I urge anyone reading this to keep in mind that possitive affirmations to young girls and women of all age about their body image can be crucial to a healthy, happy growth. Cheers to a great mom and for raising awareness and sharing such a personal story.

Check out the story here!


  1. Thanks for sharing, Naz! I myself struggled with an eating disorder in my teen years & want nothing more but for my daughter to grow up with a healthy body image, in a world where she can feel comfotable in her own skin. This is an important piece!

  2. Very true!!!! Its so important to instill that healthy body image in our daughters an the young girls in our lives.