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Are you concerned about your daughters body image? What do you do about it?

My step-daughter is short for her age and very thin. However, she constantly makes comments about being "fat". She also seems to be highly aware of everyone's body type and size. She will say nice things about thin people and not nice things about heavy people. When she is describing her friends she will always describe them by their "size" before she even mentions any other obvious feature (hair color, etc.) I am concerned about her body image since she is only 9, but my husband thinks I am over-reacting.

I would love some feedback about how other girls in this age group feel about body shape and what you are doing to try to give them a positive body image?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 6:52 PM on Jun. 8, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (11)
  • My daughter is 8 and is a little on the heavy side and plus she is tall for her age. She always comes to me and says mommy my stomach is getting flatter. {She has lovehandles that she worries about} She also asks me if she poops alot will that help her loose weight. Now she loves to eat so I make sure she eats healthy. I tell her its nothing but baby fat and the older and taller she gets the extra weight will go away. I always tell her she will look like a caramel version of me when she gets older and that just brightens her day..lol. But yes at the age of 8 Destiny is definitely worried about her body image.
    diamondmamma

    Answer by diamondmamma at 6:59 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • i totally fret over it....i just try to promote healthy eating and not worrying about ;bs on the scale. My daughter is almost 12 and has just recently thinned out a bit due to not gaining but growing several inches. She's quite average in weight but on the short side- her two closest freinds are taller and very very thin. She doesn't seem to mind it....but just recently i have notice her sucking in her belly a bit when trying on clothes or getting undressed.
    it's so hard.....we fret over our own bodies......they see that. Collectively all women need to worry less about the small things like ten pounds and focus on our relationships with our girls!!!!
    keeperof2

    Answer by keeperof2 at 9:07 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • I wouldn't worry. I see body size WAY before anything else. I think looks are very important, almost more important than other aspects. If you are ugly it really doesn't matter if you are super sweet, no one will talk to you anyways...
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:25 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • Personally, I'd be a lot more worried about having a chubby daughter who wasn't concerned about it. Chubby kids often grow up into overweight adults. If she wants to stay relatively thin, she might be someone who needs to more diligent about monitoring her diet and getting physical activity than others.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:10 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • I think that women worry about their body image because of all of the advertizing done on tv and in magazines about being thin. People don't realize that those thin women in the magazines are anorexic. We should all try to be happy with who we are, and not worry about what we look like.
    homealone_10

    Answer by homealone_10 at 9:06 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • my dd is 7 and I worry about her body image to. she i sjust naturally a bigger girl. She is tall and a bit "big boned". Just last night she was jumping on the trampoline and said she thinks she is getting skinnier because her pants felt loose. She still has a bit of a rounded belly, but she is very active. She makes comments about her tummy sometimes, she isn't sad, but she does notice bodies..I wish at 7 that she didnt but they get messages about their bodies everywhere these days.
    ria7

    Answer by ria7 at 11:16 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • I think girls worry about being thin more because of how revealing clothes are now a days as opposed to the advertising. In the 50's you could get away with having a bigger body and still having it be considered attractivie, because not much of it was shown. Now, with tiny bikinis and skimpy clothes you can't. The reason advertising shows skinny models is because the clothing styles are revealing. In the 50's models weren't super skinny because they didn't have to be. Blame the fashion designers if you want to blame someone. And I don't think it's realistic to expect girls to stop worrying about how they look. Women have always worried about how they look, and with good reason. Standards of beauty may have shifted, but all societies have their ideal of beauty, and the beautiful ones benefit greatly.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:04 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • Does she live with you full time or part time? If she lives with you part time and with her mom some as well, maybe she is getting these negative things from her? Maybe her mom is very negative about herself and your SD has heard these things and is picking it up there? Just a thought.
    KTMOM

    Answer by KTMOM at 1:59 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • OP: She lives with her mom full time we only have every other weekend. I noticed that she started making these comments around age 7. At 7 she still wore a size 4 and even had to use the pant sizers to the smallest setting. When she started to grow she got upset when she didn't need the pant sizers on the smallest setting and will get upset if she needs a medium instead of a small in clothes.

    Since I noticed these comments 2 years ago, I have made sure that my husband and I don't make any negative comments abour our bodies or anyone elses. I have also made my husband stop telling her "you are so tiny and cute" bc it seems like she was equating TINY with cute because everyone tells her that. The reason I am concerned again is bc one of our family friends commented that we should worry about her getting an eating disorder as a teen. My husband got really mad, but honestly I can see the concern.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:41 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • My daughter is in fifth grade and I never knew how important appearance is for this girls, is crazy! The cattiness is overwhelming at least in her school. They critique each other on everything. My daughter is slim, tall, and have olive skin, she is very pretty, her hair is curly and that seem to bother her a lot. She wishes she has long, straight hair like her other classmates. In my efforts to make her happy and have messed up her hair even more by dealing with relaxers, cutting it and stuff, now is short and damaged, and now she is going nuts. I decided to leave her hair alone and stop helping her feel more insecure about herself by trying to fix what she thought was wrong with her. I guess that as mothers we hate watching our children feeling bad about themselves and attempt to fix the problem to make them happy and only make things worst.
    Ilianexy

    Answer by Ilianexy at 5:36 PM on Jun. 11, 2009

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