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My Daughter Thinks I'm Ugly
Talk about your body image being crushed. My daughter thinks I’m ugly. She told me that I’m prettier on the inside then on the outside. She even qualified it by saying, “Mommy, I’ve lived on the inside, so I should know.” She told me this last week. I won’t lie; I wasn’t looking particularly pretty on that day. If I remember correctly, I was wearing yoga pants, a tank top and my hair was pulled back in a disheveled ponytail. You know, the same thing I wore yesterday. Isn’t that standard Mommy uniform? It is in my house. Or maybe I’m just too tired to care lately. It’s been a hectic summer with lots of changes and little sleep.
But I still can’t believe that my 7-year-old gave me the old “its what’s on the inside that counts” speech. I don’t want that speech. I wrote that speech. It’s like getting the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech. You know what it really means is that is absolutely YOU. I know she didn’t intentionally mean to hurt my feelings. That was just a side effect of her brutal honesty. It’s not like she knows about the years of eating disorders, the body dysmorphic disorder or the negative self-image that I battle daily. How could she? I hide it from her.
Have I done my job too well? I’ve always tried to teach the girls to look beyond the surface in themselves and in others. I don’t want them to think anyone’s worth is based on what someone looks like. I don’t want them to end up in the position where they judge themselves and others on what their body looks like. I want them to have a positive body image. I don’t want size and shape to matter. I want them to understand that the body is just a shell to hold the beautiful spirit within. My biggest fear is that they will end up like me.
I want to keep her body image intact.
All I know is that it hurt. This is probably more my issue than it is hers. But aren’t little kids supposed to think their moms are beautiful, no matter what they look like? Isn’t that the law? I mean, there are people that do have ugly children and they still think they are beautiful because they are looking at them through love. I don’ think it’s even possible to think our own children are ugly because they are dripping in love. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all did this? At the very least, shouldn’t our children always look at us with love-colored glasses?
I always remember thinking my mom was the most beautiful woman in the world just because she was my mom. You know, the lady who gave birth to me, fed me, clothed me and loved me despite my bad attitude during the teen years. The same woman who spent a lifetime making sacrifices so that I didn’t have to. My mom was always the most beautiful woman to me in any room because she loved me. She was the kisser of booboos, the mender of broken hearts and the woman who cuddled me when I was sad. She made it all better. She is amazing and she is still the most beautiful woman to me-inside and out. No one else can even hold a candle to my mom’s heart and spirit. It is unrelenting.
I do all those same things. I know that I should be proud of my daughter for looking beyond just the shell, as I have taught her, but I guess I thought that only applied to other people. I took for granted that maybe my outside wasn’t as pretty as my inside. I never thought about how my own body image would suffer knowing that what was on the inside was prettier than what was on the outside.
Logic tells me that this is a good thing, but why are my feelings so hurt? Has your child ever said something to you about the way you look or dress that really hurt your feelings?
Psst-has anyone seen my little girl’s beer goggles? I think she may have dropped them at school. We need those back immediately.
Deborah Cruz is a writer, a wife, and a work-at-home Ninja Mommy who’s trying to do it all well; usually falling short. She has a lot of degrees from a bunch of schools, but mostly spends her days shuttling people under the age of 7, while trying to maintain her sanity. Follow Deborah on her parenting site The Truth about Motherhood and @TruthfulMommy.