If You Say The Word 'Fat' Around My Kids, I Will Cut You

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"I'm sick of being fat" is what one of my mom friends said. I knew she meant, "I'm sick of feeling like crap," but that comment can really hurt kids and body image when said in the improper context.

You know the feeling: no energy, short of breath, can't keep up with the kids. But that's not what she said. What she said was, "I'm sick of being fat."

Fat is essential for the body; it's essential for survival. The fat in your body helps regulate and maintain body temperature, is an important source of energy, and helps your body absorb nutrients such as fat-soluble vitamins.

Without fat, our bodies wouldn't be able to absorb certain nutrients; they'd exit our bodies without ever entering our bloodstream. Having fat in your body is a good thing.

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Yet in this weight-obsessed society, we've come to equate the word "fat" with overweight and unhealthy.

But people come in all shapes and sizes, and I want my children to know this.

Just because someone looks a certain way (which the media has deemed "undesirable") doesn't mean they're unhappy or unhealthy.

I don't want my girls to grow up feeling ashamed of what they look like or what the scale tells them. I don't want them counting calories or exercising to lose weight.

I want them to eat what makes their body feel good. I want them to be active because it's normal and healthy, and because they'll feel better.

I don't want them growing up fearing becoming "fat." I want them to know that their self-worth goes beyond that tiny number stitched onto their favorite pair of blue jeans.

So instead, I ask you: Why are you unhappy with yourself? Is it because you feel like crap? If it is, then, yes, please change something.

Your diet or activity level might be a good place to start if you feel it's something that'd make you feel better. Because I want you to feel better.

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But please, don't tell me in front of my young very impressionable children that "fat" is the problem.

Because you, my friend, are beautiful. My children know this to be true because they love you.

Please don't tear yourself down in front of my children. Because what they are hearing is “looking like someone that I love isn't okay,” “looking like someone I love is bad,” “looking like someone I love is something I should fear.”

Please don't let society's warped sense of beauty continue to ruin our children's self-esteem.

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For the sake of our children, let's be more conscious of the way we talk about ourselves in front of them. Because everything you are saying, they hear, and it is shaping their own inner-voice.

You have the power to help boost them up or tear them down.

Let your children see how beautiful you really are — tell yourself you are beautiful. Look in the mirror and say it.

Make sure your children hear you. Because, believe me, they hear you.

Let your children know that it's okay to love themselves just as they are.

Now, that's truly beautiful.

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This article was originally published at Darcy and Brian. Reprinted with permission from the author.