Friday, January 14, 2011
Jiggles and The Truffle Shuffle, All to Prove a Mom Point
I'm not going to sit here and blame society for my daughter's developing self-consciousness, though with the way she has been raised for the last almost 9 years, I do feel it's a huge part of what's going on in her head. My daughter is not fat. She's not even remotely fat. The child almost has a six-pack because she's a little tomboy that gets outside, plays catch, plays tennis, loves sports. But for some reason, her post-meal belly was a cause of concern for her.
So, I pulled on my Mom big girl panties, and decided to take one for the team. I stood up, pulled up my shirt, and showed my daughter what fat looks like. 'See, honey. Fat jiggles' and I proceeded to shake my belly and my love handles. She fell onto the floor in laughter. Sheesh, sweetheart, don't kick Mommy while she's down, please, especially not when she's sacrificing some dignity to prove a point to you.
After the first fit of laughter subsided, I sat back on the couch and had my daughter come over to me, expose her belly, where I showed her that her stomach doesn't jiggle, therefore it wasn't fat. She started giggling again, because she's ticklish, then looked at me and said, 'Mom, show me the jiggle again. It's funny.' Uh, the things we do for our children. I played my part, gave into her request, and she proceeded to fall on the floor laughing again. 'Now honey, see what fat looks like?' Trying to turn this into a learning experience was going to work, damn it. I proceeded to pinch a few inches of the pooch below my belly button, mostly excess skin from my pregnancy with my son, but has it's fair share of fat, and show her that, too, to which she replied, 'Eww, gross.' Score 2 for Mom? Hell, I didn't even know.
I sat back down, my daughter's laughter finally ended (it seemed like eternity), and she decided to pinch her own belly, her face lit up as she said, 'Mom, I can barely pinch anything there. So that means I'm not fat, right? I mean, you could pinch a bunch.' Thanks honey, love you, too.
Like I said in the beginning, do I blame society for my daughter's warped sense of self-image at the tender age of almost 9? Not entirely, no. I have done my fair share of talking about wanting to get rid of my muffin tops around my daughter, or how my post-pregnancy pooch bothers me. I'm perfectly within my ideal weight range, don't really need to lose weight, but would love to tone up a little. Should I talk about stuff like that in front of her anymore? No. Lesson learned for me. But, do even 'safe', kid friendly shows and channels like Nickelodeon and The Disney Channel put a lot of emphasis on body image? Of course, without a doubt in my mind. Is any member of the cast of 'iCarly' fat? Even Gibby, who started out a little chubby when the show first began, has thinned out. Same with 'Wizards of Waverly Place'. Harper used to have some curves, now is wasting away with each episode. And, if you noticed, both of these characters are in supporting roles. The main characters on most kids' shows nowadays have perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect bodies with perfect clothes. So, should a little bit of blame be placed on Hollywood? I believe so, yes.
Where does this leave us Moms when it comes to raising our kids to have a healthy self image? Monitoring TV and movies, for sure, but instilling correct eating patterns and encouraging exercise with our babies. Watching what we say about our own body image around our kids helps, too.
And apparently doing the Truffle Shuffle (everyone remembers 'The Goonies' right?) at the expense of your pride and dignity long enough to convince your daughter she's not fat. If that's what it takes, this Mommy will jiggle her stuff all day long.