How My Body Shaming Affects My Daughters

As mothers, sometimes we forget the effect that our words and actions have on our children. It’s easy to accidentally let out own heads get the best of us and let out actions or thoughts that we shouldn’t when our children are around. I know that I am especially guilty of this when it comes to body shaming.

how a mother's body shaming affects her daughtersI was actually sitting at my desk the other day thinking about writing a post pertaining to letting my daughter play with makeup. But, then she said something to me that changed my entire thought process. She had asked me if she could play with makeup, and I told her “no” because we had somewhere to be later that day,

When she “plays” with makeup, she ends up looking like she has two black eyes. This is fine for home, but not out in public. You know what I mean?

Anyway, after I told her “no” she was upset. Her response was what quickly caught my attention.

“But how can I be beautiful without makeup on?”

She proceeded to tell me that she didn’t want to go anywhere if she couldn’t “get pretty” and her outfit “wasn’t even good enough because it made her ugly”.

Listen, if you ever want to feel like you’re a terrible mother, just wait until those words come out of your daughter’s mouth.

It was like I got punched in the gut.

How My Body Shaming Is Affecting My Daughter

I have always had self-confidence issues, more so after the birth of my children. Body confidence after baby isn’t exactly at an all time high for most women. I have a pretty sizable fibroid that consistently makes me look like I have an early second trimester baby belly.

Super awesome.

I will admit that I sometimes freak out about leaving the house because I feel like I look unattractive in what I’m wearing. I will call myself fat at least once a day… mostly in my own head. I never try to do this in front of my children though.

There are times when I am getting ready, and of course as a blogger and someone who is big into social media, I take a lot of pictures. I take quite a few of my makeup looks and sometimes I will state that I “look terrible in that picture” or “that angle makes my face look fat” or “my skin looks awful”.

I don’t mean for these to be taken in a way that decreases my own value or natural beauty, but to my daughter it very may well be what happens.

How one mother's body shaming of herself, and her daughter response to it, changed the way she viewed her self love around her children.I try my hardest to exude self-confidence around my children. I try to show my daughter what happens when you take pride in your work and the gifts that God has given you. I want her to see how much her dad loves her mom, with or with makeup, with sweatpants on, on my “worst” of days. I always try to show her that beauty is so much more than makeup and a pretty outfit.

If you read my post from last week on the power of makeup, I talked a little bit about how I believe makeup is only made for fun and to enhance the beauty that is already there.

This is the message that I want my daughter to hear and to take to heart.

I don’t want her to hear that her say “I’m fat.”

I don’t want her to see me shed tears because I don’t feel like I look good in anything.

I don’t want her to think that I wear makeup because I think I’m ugly without it.

I was teased when I was younger, for my weight and appearance, and I still to they deal can remember that I feel the effects of it. I don’t want to implant any bit of that negativity about body image and self confidence onto my daughters.

Not only do we as women need to stop body shaming ourselves, because we are all beautiful in our own way, we need to do it so that our daughter’s are raised with the idea that self-confidence, grace, and working hard for what you wants are traits of a beautiful woman.

*Cheers to teaching our daughters the true definition of beauty*

joanna at motherhood and merlot

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  1. You make such a great point. If we, as mothers, body shame ourselves, we will pass that attitude on to our children. We need to be careful the message we present. The children are watching.

  2. I’ve got little boys, but it’s so true that our children pick up on everything they see and hear! These little people are our true reflections, so we’ve got to be careful what we say and do. I’ve often heard my own words coming out my sons’ mouths.

  3. Great points. I don’t have daughters (two boys) but I can relate to forming negative body images. When I was 12 I played sports and was really athletic but at one point I had gained a little weight. Someone had made a comment to me about it and I absorbed that comment mentally for years. It affected how I saw myself and my body to the point of body shaming myself. It can have devastating effects on a young girl. It’s important to for young girls to love themselves and their bodies!โค๏ธ
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  4. Great post mama and you made some great points! I feel that not matter how we look, we are always comparing ourselves to others and wanting more or better. It’s so important to be aware of what we tell our little ones and what they hear about themselves and us. Loved that you are aware of this and can teach your little girl that she’s beautiful no matter what – just like her mama ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. This is so true. Sometimes I forget that my daughter is always watching and the way that I think and talk about myself is going to affect the way my daughter will think about herself.

  6. Beautiful!!!! I love this. It’s so important to teach our young girls about natural beauty and self confidence. And we can learn a thing or two about it when we start to become the example for them. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. I don’t have girls. I do have two boys however and I feel the same goes for them. They need to appreciate enter bodies as well. But also they need to understand and appreciate female bodies. I have made a conscious effort to not have my sons hear me say I don’t feel pretty or I look fat. And in turn I hope they always make the women in their lives feel spatial no matter what.

  8. Ughhh I’m horrible about this kinda stuff!! I’m not even that serious most of the time when I say things negative about myself, it’s just I’m not looking 100% and I forget that my daughter doesn’t know the difference.

  9. This is such a great reminder! My girls are still babies, but it’s something I’ll try my best to be mindful of when they start getting older and are more observant to my words and actions. Our kids are always watching!! My son is four and he sees and hears everything!!!

  10. I worry about this with my little girl. I try to not say anything negative about myself in front of her and I am very conscious about eating and letting myself enjoy food in front of her. It’s hard because I have struggled with body image my whole life but I don’t want her to have the same struggles.

  11. I think of this all the time, not because I have daughters, but because I have sons. And my thought is, what am I teaching them about a woman’s value and worth if they are hearing me say these things? Because to a three year old, what mom says inst an opinion, it’s a truth. Such an important message mama, thanks for sharing.

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