I've struggled with weight and low self-esteem my entire life. I was at my largest, aside from pregnancy and postpartum, when I was in middle school, so you can imagine how fun that time period was. I've always been cognizant of how people talk about weight, too, and now that I'm a mom I've been hyper-focused on how people talk about my 12-year-old daughter. Sadly, I've come across things people say about my daughter's weight that are actually shaming, and I know, first hand, that these comments impact her in ways both large and small.
It's impossible for me to forget how those snide comments about my weight hurt me as a child, especially at a time when I was trying to figure out who I was as a person. I remember trying to squeeze into clothes that didn't fit and hiding as I shopped in the plus size section. I remember even the most well-intentioned people commenting on my body, and how those comments made me want to shrink until I simply vanished entirely.
Which is why I worry for my daughter. She's always been incredibly observant, so she can pick up on people subtly or even "accidentally" shaming her for what she eats, how she eats, how often she exercises, and her weight. I've caught her talking negatively about her body as a result of these comments, too, so I know that even the smallest slight is leaving a lasting impact on her and her self-esteem. Which is why I remain vigilant; constantly listening to how people talk to her and ready to stop them in their tracks if the conversation takes a judgmental turn. And I absolutely will not stand idly by when people say the following things: