We are leaving on vacation tomorrow, and I am packing our suitcases. With two young ones, this mostly entails a lot of transferring clean clothes from the dryer to the suitcase before they manage to get dirty again and trying to thwart the kids’ attempts to “help” me pack.
Since we are traveling to a tropical destination (yay!) it also involves trying on last year’s bikinis for me. This is where the f-word comes in. Not that f-word! But the one used unflinchingly by millions of females as they pull on their bikinis. FAT. As in, “Does this make my butt look fat?” and “I feel fat today” or “My legs/stomach/arms/(insert any body part here) are too fat.”
Although my daughter is only just shy of her second birthday, like most toddlers her age she quickly soaks up conversation around her and new words are uttered daily. And I am determined that the f-word will not be a part of Kendall’s vocabulary.
I want Kendall to look in the mirror and see her dimpled rosy cheeks. Her beautiful full lips. Her soft hair kissed by golden rays from the sun. Her strong, sturdy little legs. Her enormous eyes the color of tumbled sea glass. Her full, golden tummy and sweet belly button. Her dazzling smile.
The best way I can do this is by practicing healthy body acceptance myself. Gazing at my bikini-clad body in the mirror I remind myself that those tired boobs fed and nourished two human beings. The deep creases on my forehead are souvenirs from laughing and playing hard. Those puny arms have enough strength to carry multiple bags of groceries or propel me through the ocean. My legs? They have helped me complete triathlons and herd small children. I try to smile at the reflection that stares back at me and hope that Kendall will see her mother appreciating the gift of a strong, healthy body.
I am making a conscious effort to ban the f-word from our house.