Jan 04

Her future fat thighs

Comments (117) by Kim Bongiorno January 04, 2013 - 7:02 AM

I was sitting on a toilet, feeling surprised and kind of insulted, when I realized I had an opportunity before me like no other.

It began with the need to pee: first my five-year-old daughter, then me.

As I was sitting on the toilet and she was washing her hands, still without pants, she declared "Mama you have fat legs! Not like mine - look at mine."  She then ran her hand along her twiggy little leg, like Vanna White on some cruel version of Wheel of Fortune.

I looked down at my lumpy pale thighs in comparison, squashed against the porcelain throne's seat like bread dough that refused to rise.

In a flash I was back in the kitchen of the house I grew up in, talking to my own mom.

My mother said some disgusted comment or another about what I was eating, and how one day I'd know what it was like to have hips like hers.

I was befuddled. Already well into my teen years, my hip bones simply protruded from my body at sharp angles, then smoothly dipped towards a flat stomach. I poked at my hips, feeling nothing but skin and bone.

"I don't get it - how can bones get fat on them?" I was genuinely curious. I looked to her for an answer.

My mom got all flustered and her voice shook. "You wait and see." Then she ran from the kitchen, locking herself in her bedroom.

That scene was twenty years ago, before I truly understood how much my mom hated how her hips looked.

If I had been a more sensitive girl back then, her reaction to my thinness and her desire to be thinner could have made me fear weight gain. Made me think it was normal to be disgusted by my own changing body. Made me believe in one ideal physique, which was not genetically in the cards for me.

I refused to let this conversation end as badly as that one could have.

I took my eyes off my blubbery thigh and looked at my daughter.

"Good job, you're right! There is more fat on my legs than yours. When you become a grown up, you get all sorts of beautiful curves like this. Isn't that exciting?"

She looked at her little legs, then mine, then back to hers. Then she smiled. "I'm gonna look like you when I'm a growned-up?"

"Yep. And I looked like you when I was five. It's kind of fun getting to look different when you get older, dontcha think?"

She started hopping excitedly, and replied "Yeah! And I get bigger and older every day, Mama!"

With a smile on her face, she dashed out of the bathroom feeling confident in her current skinny legs, and looking forward to what the meat of Motherhood will do to her hips twenty years from now, leaving her pants and a hopeful mom in her wake.

by Kim Bongiorno January 04, 2013 - 7:02 AM


Comments (117)

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    Reply Delete
  • Report Thu Apr 3, 2014 - 5:46 am
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    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Mar 11, 2014 - 10:42 am
    I was bewildered. Generally very much into my youngster years, my hip bones essentially jutted from my physique at sharp plots, then easily dipped towards an even stomach. I jabbed at my hips, feeling only skin and bone.transfer essay
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Dec 18, 2013 - 6:09 am
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  • Report Sun Oct 13, 2013 - 2:07 pm
    by  Mary Redfield
    Gosh, that was brilliant, thank you. i'm not a writer, just a reader, But I do have a daughter and 5 beautiul Grandchildren to tell the same story.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Sep 16, 2013 - 11:45 am
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    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Jul 31, 2013 - 4:13 pm
    by  Meg
    AMAZING post...thanks for sharing. My daughter is 13 and I do EVERYTHING in my power to let her know EVERY day how beautiful she is and am so proud and happy that she is becoming such a confident young woman. I have a story (actually a chapter in the book that I have written, that at the moment sits gathering dust) about a comment my EX-mother-in-law made to my daughter when she was about 7. I hadn't intended to post it on my blog, but your story has inspired me:) THANK YOU...now I just have to find the time to post it to the blog. CHEERS!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Jul 23, 2013 - 10:53 am
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  • Report Sat Jul 6, 2013 - 7:13 pm
    This is such a powerful post, Kim. It's amazing how easily those interactions become imbedded in our being and flow in and out of our lives as we grow up and become aware of them through our own parental eyes. Good for you. Such a perfect response, from such a thoughtful and insightful mom that you are! Accepting and loving ourselves is such a critical piece to having a life that is healthy and fulfilling. I too, work hard on teaching my daughter to love herself- and others- as they are.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Thu Jun 13, 2013 - 5:50 pm
    by  Rachel
    Such an inspiring story. I feel daunted about shielding my daughter from all of the negative messages about body image in our society. You have reminded me that the fight starts at home! Came over here from Deb at Urban Moo Cow. She doesn't steer me wrong!
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm
  • Report Sat Jun 15, 2013 - 12:20 pm
    @Rachel: Deb's a good cookie. :) It's so true that the biggest way to make our kids understand their value is to make it our OWN #1 value when they are in our homes. If they believe in themselves as attractive and worthy and lovely as fact, it's easier to deflect the bullshit they hear on TV and at home.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Jun 12, 2013 - 2:33 am
    by  Shelley
    Thanks Kim. My mother HATED her body, and was not, (and is still not) afraid to say so. Growing up I was told I looked "exactly like your mother" which of course to me meant that I must also be disgusting, ugly, pathetic, fat, useless and all those other things I heard my mother say about herself. Of course it didn't help that my own grandmother called me "fatty" from the time I was a toddler, despite being a healthy weight - I was just not a beanpole like my brother. Now with a gorgeous spunky 3 year old daughter, it's MY job to be completely comfortable with myself - and I am reminded of that every time someone comments how much my daughter already looks like me.
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm
  • Report Sat Jun 15, 2013 - 12:19 pm
    @Shelley: My mom used to (and still) think she was so unattractive, and I look so much like her. Since I've been an adult, I've said point-blank to her - do you think I'm pretty? Well, I look JUST LIKE YOU so that means you are pretty, too! Yes, our love for our children colors our opinion of how gorgeous they are, but it should also remind us that they are made from US so WE had something to do with it. Kindness and respect for ourselves is so important, as are the same things for our kids. I bet you're simply lovely and your daughter is, too.
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  • Report Tue Jun 11, 2013 - 2:57 pm
    I just read this today thanks to Deb Gaisford. What a lucky little girl to have such a wonderful mom! Way to think quick on your feet (or on your throne as the case may be). I need to be more conscious of what I say and how I say it because I want to be a good role model for my kids. We as women tend to tear ourselves apart when it comes to opinions about our bodies, and it doesn't have to be like that!
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm
  • Report Sat Jun 15, 2013 - 12:16 pm
    @Sarah Almond: It drives me crazy to hera all my beautiful friends knock themselves down, when they are so so lovely. Much of it is habit and that it's not cool to be confident. ARGH.
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  • Report Thu Jan 10, 2013 - 2:57 am
    by  Nicole
    I remember around 15 being told that I had good "birthing hips." This was a year or two before I was told I had a "Beyonce booty" by a customer when I worked retail (and I am not very hip hop to make it work as well as she does!). What a difference it would have made growing up to know that while bodies change, personalities don't, and if we're happy then we can enjoy it no matter what life throws at us!
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  • 3 replies, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 12:53 am
  • Report Tue Feb 12, 2013 - 10:44 am
    @Nicole: I've met plenty of guys who prefer booty & birthing hips over boney ones, and also vice versa. It takes all kinds. As long as we're healthy (or trying to get there), let's love ourselves.
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  • Report Sat Feb 23, 2013 - 4:16 pm
    by  Kelly
    @Kim Bongiorno: Actually, let's love ourselves even if we're not healthy. Let's love ourselves if we're healthy or if we're sick: even if we have the flu, diabetes, cancer, insomnia, post traumatic stress disorder, asthma, allergies, glaucoma., high blood pressure, or heart disease. Let's even love ourselves if we're fat. Let's just love ourselves.
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  • Report Tue Jun 11, 2013 - 12:53 am
    @Kelly: I stand corrected - yes, of course. Always love yourself. ALWAYS.
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  • Report Fri May 24, 2013 - 5:35 am
    So weird because I've had this thought in my head a lot lately - how do I make sure to be a good role model for how my daughters think about themselves? Gotta start with me. Gonna be a long lesson.
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 12:53 am
  • Report Tue Jun 11, 2013 - 12:53 am
    @Melissa Swedoski: But worth it. 1,000,000% worth it.
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  • Report Wed Feb 13, 2013 - 10:02 pm
    I remember complaining to my mom as a teenager how I had inherited her thick and muscular legs...could never wear sleek boots and super strappy shoes. A total pear. My mom, who lay in her hospital bed, paralyzed from multiple sclerosis, said "I just wish I had two legs that worked." I stopped complaining.
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  • Report Tue Feb 12, 2013 - 10:53 pm
    by  Kelly
    Thanks for the LOL! I am heavy and have always struggled with my weight personally. When my daughter (blessed with her father's genetics) was 3 years old, she snuggled up to me on the couch and rubbed my substantial belly and said with enthusiasm "Oh, Mom, when I get old I'm going to have a big tummy just like yours!" I don't remember my full explanation after my initial guffaw, but I told her that we all grow and age differently and it is important to be yourself.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Feb 12, 2013 - 7:46 pm
    by  Shanda
    Thank you for posting this! That is such a wonderful response to that situation where a little girl was just making an observation.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Jan 14, 2013 - 4:14 am
    by  erin a.
    Bravo!! Well said Mama!
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:43 am
  • Report Tue Feb 12, 2013 - 10:43 am
    @erin a.: Thank you, Erin!
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  • Report Mon Jan 14, 2013 - 8:35 am
    by  sheriji
    Great answer!
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:43 am
  • Report Tue Feb 12, 2013 - 10:43 am
    @sheriji: Thanks!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Fri Jan 25, 2013 - 10:18 am
    by  Eve
    While i fully agree that children should know that their bodies will change as they grow up, i would add a caveat that they should also be educated that they CAN change the way they will look by their eating habits, exercise, and other physical activity. Girls do not have to grow up to have the same bodies as their mothers, although there is nothing wrong with that. It's a matter of educating them about their choices without being judgmental. I have 2 daughters, aged 1 and 2. My 2 year old asked me the other day, "Mommy, why is your tummy so big?? Why is your tummy so full?" I was a bit taken aback and also amused. My reply was, "Yes, i ate a lot of food, and that's why my tummy is so full and big. Sometimes i don't eat so much, and my tummy isn't so big."
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:43 am
  • Report Tue Feb 12, 2013 - 10:43 am
    @Eve: I am a walking example of taking control of your health (only athlete in the family, etc etc), so I do agree with that. But since she's only 5yo & this was but a moment, I did what I could.
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  • Report Tue Feb 12, 2013 - 12:15 am
    by  M
    Thank you so much for this story, and for how you handled the conversation with your daughter. My mother was obsessed with weight and as a result, so am I, and I can very easily feel slighted by comments. When I read what your daughter said, I cringed and thought I would die if mine ever said this to me. But, what a great moment you turned this into--not chastizing her for making an observation and phrasing it like the 5-year-old she is, but turning it into a positive image moment for BOTH of you. Thanks so much.
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:42 am
  • Report Tue Feb 12, 2013 - 10:42 am
    @M: Thank you, M. It was just a snapshot of our time together, and I didn't want to miss the opportunity.
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 5:26 pm
    BRAVO! As a former girl who was told "it's a good thing you're smart because you'll never be pretty." and "Your hips will make it easy to have babies but difficult to get a date." I SALUTE you for building up your daughter's self image, instead of scaring her! WELL DONE!
    Reply Delete
  • 6 replies, Last reply by rootietoot on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 2:27 am
  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 7:47 pm
    @rootietoot: ARRRGH. It makes my skin crawl to hear that someone told you that. I bet your hips are lovely, and many, many people believe you are beautiful.
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 7:54 pm
    @Kim Bongiorno: My wonderful husband tells me every day :)
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 8:02 pm
    @rootietoot: He sounds like a keeper. And one smart fella.
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  • Report Thu Jan 10, 2013 - 2:26 am
    @Kim Bongiorno: Thanks :) so far I've kept him for 27 years and have no intention of trading him in or otherwise getting rid of him.
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  • Report Thu Jan 10, 2013 - 12:18 am
    @rootietoot: Smart lasts a lot longer than pretty.
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  • Report Thu Jan 10, 2013 - 2:27 am
    @Wendy Wainwright: LOL! So I've heard!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Thu Jan 10, 2013 - 1:38 am
    by  Sandy
    What a wonderful perspective. I've always had yo-yo issues with weight (and a mom who was the poster child for Insensitive/Cruelty - she would tell perfect strangers how sad it was that my boobs were saggy, because I was at a chuncky stage when they grew in). But having a baby in late 30-s and then shifting into menopause have taken a whack at any remaining positive body image. I hope I can help my daughter through her changes by your model...
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  • Report Thu Jan 10, 2013 - 12:11 am
    I don't remember exactly how old I was but I think between 6-8th grade. It was the 80s and patterned velvet leggings were in style. I remember trying them on in front of my mother in the store and her telling me that my thighs were too big for that look. I was 5" tall and weighed 100lbs. At 37, prior to getting pregnant I was wearing size 0 short Abercrombie jeans because they were the kind that fit best. I still can't wear leggings without a dress over them or skinny jeans without a mid thigh reaching sweater. Maybe those leggings were really unflattering. Sometimes I am truly shocked when I see pictures of myself that I am thin. I look just like my mother except she is 5'7" and has struggled with her weight her entire life and is probably at or near the obese category these days. I see her when I look in the mirror trying on pants. I walk around with fat thighs. Prepregnancy at 37 years old I was 5"1' and weighed 110lbs. How fat could my thighs have been?
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  • Report Tue Jan 8, 2013 - 7:44 pm
    by  Nancy
    I loved how you broke the cycle -- we have mother's hurtful comments in common, but thank God we have moved away from that pattern. I remember my daughter coming home as a teenager on day saying she eat very unhealthy that day...I rejoiced -- I had made an impact...She did not eat "bad", she make unhealthy choices -- Success! I appreciate your truth
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  • Report Tue Jan 8, 2013 - 12:04 am
    Wow. Beautifully written and lovely sentiment. More little girls should be looking forward to their mama curves instead of starving and shaming themselves into looking like teenage boys.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Jan 7, 2013 - 7:19 pm
    by  Renee
    This is so inspirational! My son recently said something about my big belly and I almost cried with embarrassment and anger. I said something stupid about how that's not a nice thing to say ... why!? He was just making an observation! I wish I had had the forethought to respond in such a loving, unemotional way as you did. Your response was perfect and I now look forward to more comments about my body (what!?) so that I can have a do-over. Thank you so much for sharing ... everything. Renee
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  • Report Mon Jan 7, 2013 - 6:19 pm
    by  Gina
    So very well said. I've heard that many people do their best thinking on the can...so perhaps one day I'll have a stroke of brilliance like you did. I love that you realized she's young, that the statement was not meant as derogatory towards you. Though it could have easily been taken that way. My son once told me that my butt was more squishy than Daddy's. And my response was that I needed that squish to be able to carry him. Still, now that I have a daughter, I'm far more conscious of what I say (unlike MY mother, who once remarked how much bigger my thighs were than hers. HER issue, not mine). I love that she adores being naked, has no qualms about her body yet. And I want to keep it that way as long as I can.
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  • Report Mon Jan 7, 2013 - 5:15 am
    Well said. Well said. Perfectly handled.
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  • Report Mon Jan 7, 2013 - 12:12 am
    by  Dede
    Wow, this was a really meaningful post for me. My daughter is so excited when she steps on the scale and finds that she gained weight. Your words helped me to have perspective on my own body and how I can handle the issue with delicacy.
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Mon Jan 7, 2013 at 4:07 am
  • Report Mon Jan 7, 2013 - 4:07 am
    @Dede: So many of us are SO much more beautiful than we give ourselves credit for. Our kids deserve to see us shower ourselves with acceptance, so they can do the same. Thanks for coming by and sharing!
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  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 7:56 am
    I love this. I really do. I hate that my daughter will probably someday critique her body, but hope that I can raise her to be confident in her skin. It's definitely going to be a challenge.
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sun Jan 6, 2013 at 7:47 am
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 7:47 am
    @Shanna at Motherhood on the Rocks: I know most people do go through times when they hate themselves, and it breaks my heart to think my kids may sometimes feel that way, too. UGH. If only we could protect them from themselves....
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 7:56 am
    by  Geneva
    You are a smart and wonderfully enlightened mother of a girl who is and will continue to be proud of her body. Because of you. Good on you!
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sun Jan 6, 2013 at 7:46 am
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 7:46 am
    @Geneva: That made me feel really good, Geneva - thanks.
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  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 9:37 am
    Kim, that is FABULOUS! I love it. I hope when I get a question like that I can think of an answer that is half as amazing as that. Parenting moment WIN!
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sun Jan 6, 2013 at 7:46 am
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 7:46 am
    @JD @ Honest Mom: I bet you will, JD. I bet you will.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 10:22 am
    by  Julie
    I had a very similar conversation with my daughter a few years back regarding the relative size of our "bottoms," in a public bathroom no less! Very entertaining for the mom in the adjoining stall. Maybe I'll reiterate the point, now that she's nearing tweenhood. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sun Jan 6, 2013 at 7:45 am
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 7:45 am
    @Julie: My kids usually ask whether i need to "make brown" when I'm in public bathrooms. I'd much rather talk about the relative sizes of our bums!
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  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 11:13 am
    You are a very wise woman. I wish I had responded with such a smart answer when my daughter commented on my jiggly belly. Thanks for sharing your story and teaching the right way to teach our daughters about our ever changing bodies. ~FringeGirl
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sun Jan 6, 2013 at 7:45 am
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 7:45 am
    @the domestic fringe: I changed SO much SO quickly when I was an adolescent, and that was just the beginning! I hope my kids feel prepared and excited about everything that happens to them.
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  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 9:34 pm
    by  Amanda
    What a beautiful window you've given us.
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sun Jan 6, 2013 at 7:44 am
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 7:44 am
    @Amanda: I adore the way you said that.
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  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 9:41 pm
    Thanks for the article - what a beautiful example you are setting for moms and girls everywhere:) You are SO right - girls (and women) are bombarded everywhere about what their bodies "should" look like and why they should criticize themselves. It is SO important that we moms model health and self-love - that will help form a solid foundation for our girls:) Thank you! (I wrote a similar article a few years ago after my daughter, at age 7, noticed her own "fat" thighs.
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sun Jan 6, 2013 at 7:44 am
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 7:44 am
    @Karen Schachter: I never understood why people so quickly would think they aren't beautiful, that someone else is better than them because of something physically different. It's just nonsensical to me. I don't know if my kids will be more susceptible to this, so I do what I can to keep reminding them they'll always be beautiful.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 10:18 pm
    by  Amy
    I love that a story that started on the can brought me to tears. Having a daughter has made me very aware of the way I talk about my body, and seeing my pear shape on her teeny tiny body put my dreams of a supermodel figure to rest, once and for all. She looks just the way she's supposed to, which must mean I do to.
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sun Jan 6, 2013 at 7:42 am
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 7:42 am
    @Amy: Yes, you do. And I bet you're lovely.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 11:21 pm
    by  Elliot
    Reminds me of when my youngest was about that age. Same scenario - I'm on the Thunder Mug, she's washing up. She looks at me, observes aloud that I am wider than the toilet seat and says incredulously: "How do you LIVE like that?!?!" I just about fell off the john laughing.
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sun Jan 6, 2013 at 7:41 am
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 7:41 am
    @Elliot: I'm sorry, but "Thunder Mug"? I can't stop laughing. Ever again.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 11:31 pm
    I LOVE this. And I'm bookmarking it for the next time my daughter says something similar to me. You are a multi-tasking parenting genius!
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sun Jan 6, 2013 at 7:41 am
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 7:41 am
    @Angie Kinghorn: Bookmarked! I feel so honored!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 2:16 am
    by  Susan Hime
    Hello Kim! I want to let you know that, like everyone else has said, you have shown us a wonderful example to follow with our own children. And, ourselves. I strive every day to feel more comfortable in my own skin--which still sometimes seems to be getting harder to do. But I also want to let you know that it's not even only daughters you are helping. My son mentions, occasionally, that his belly is fat (which is not true) and he clearly notices whenever I point out my own flaws. Now sometimes I take the opportunity to teach/learn with him the ways we can be healthy and feel great-without worrying about how we look. And, I will keep my negative self-commentary out of his hearing--and hopefully it will get out of my own head as well. Kudos for being such a good mom, and writer!
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sun Jan 6, 2013 at 7:40 am
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 7:40 am
    @Susan Hime: I have a son & a daughter, and I try every day to make sure the two of them understand they are equal and lovely and smart and worthy. They hear everything, these kids...I'm trying to make sure they only hear the good stuff.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 3:07 am
    by  Bethany
    SO well done, Kim. Bravo. I can honestly say that I would not have had the presence of mind to turn that around so beautifully. What a lucky daughter you have.
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sun Jan 6, 2013 at 7:39 am
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 7:39 am
    @Bethany: The Sarcasm in My Head was all "Golly, Thank, kid!" but I knew I had to do her right. So I shut Sarcastic Kim up and took the high road.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 3:45 am
    by  Skye
    Oh, well done! I don't ever want my precious girl to feel anything less than beautiful and secure, and those little unexpected moments... they make such an impact. You should feel so proud of how you handled that one.
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sun Jan 6, 2013 at 7:38 am
  • Report Sun Jan 6, 2013 - 7:38 am
    @Skye: Thank you, Skye. I feel the same way.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 4:50 am
    I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. What a wonderful way to handle this situation, Kim! I longed to have a little girl, but frankly am relieved that I don't. I had, and still have, horrible self-esteem that I learned from my mother because she had it, too. I don't know if I could have handled her comment as well as you did. Bravo for being such a positive, healthy example to your daughter!
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jan 5, 2013 at 6:27 am
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 6:27 am
    @Kathy at kissing the frog: That kind of comment makes putting myself 'out there' worth it.
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 8:47 pm
    What a fantastic way to handle that moment! Love it! :)
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jan 5, 2013 at 3:06 am
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 3:06 am
    @thedoseofreality: While sitting on the pot, no less. What can I say? I'm a multitasker. ;)
    Reply Delete
  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 9:05 pm
    Yeah, it's official. I'm drawing up the adoption papers now. I'm going to miss my daughter, but I think it's best for all of us if you just raise her as your own. Thanks. I'll send child support.
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jan 5, 2013 at 3:06 am
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 3:06 am
    @Leslie Marinelli: Ooooh money??! I'll take her! As long as she's funny, like you. Because that would make great blog material.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 9:25 pm
    by  Tracy
    I love this so much Kim. xoxo
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jan 5, 2013 at 3:05 am
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 3:05 am
    @Tracy : I appreciate that, Tracy.
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 9:27 pm
    Well played!
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jan 5, 2013 at 3:05 am
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 3:05 am
    @Dusty Earth Mother: Thanks, Dusty!
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 9:29 pm
    "Meat of Motherhood" is so good. I don't think my daughter will ever inherit my build, she is her dad from head to toe. I'm sure she'll have her own image issues to work out, but not the same ones I had.
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jan 5, 2013 at 3:05 am
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 3:05 am
    @Suburban Snapshots: You know I'm 5' 9.5". Well, the dr thinks she'll only be about 5'3"-5'5", which is actually tall for my husband's side of the family. I can't tell you how often people lament in front of her that she didn't get my height. WTF!? Just because I'm happy being tall doesn't mean she shouldn't be happy being short. Do you get this, too?
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 10:02 pm
    Yay for an awesome parenting moment! I find that I have very few awesome moments directly after looking at my thighs. My daughter so far takes after my husband. She's tall and skinny, which I never was. People comment on her skinniness all the time and I have to consciously remember to defend her and point out some other, non-physical trait of hers as a reply. It's hard because for me skinniness has been a lifelong unachievable ambition. I look at her and am jealous of the childhood she has ahead of her as a gangly skinny thing. Of course I know that my thoughts are twisted with my own twisted point of view so I'll never let on.
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jan 5, 2013 at 3:03 am
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 3:03 am
    @Allison Hart : I find that people hope - in front of my very likely petite kid - that she will be tall, like me. I don't care if she's tall or short or in-between. She'll be awesome no matter what. It's annoying to have to constantly remind adults that my kid is just right, whether she ends up looking like me or her aunt or her paternal grandmother or whomever. Oy.
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 10:36 pm
    Well done! That will stick with her forever. While her friends are spewing bulemic ideas to all the other girls your daughter will look at them like they are crazy and she may be the only girl at the reunion with her own teeth :)
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jan 5, 2013 at 3:01 am
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 3:01 am
    @Sorry Kid Your Mom Doesn't Play Well With Others: I feel like I'm surrounded by women that hate themselves, despite their beauty. I will do anything to protect my kids from feeling that way.
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 11:25 pm
    You done good. I probably would have failed this test and responded much the way your own mom did. But then, I still miss the 2x4 body of my teenage self, despite my husband telling me that he likes my womanly curves much better. Which makes me wonder… why do I want to look like a 12-year-old boy?
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jan 5, 2013 at 3:00 am
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 3:00 am
    @SaidKristin: Exactly! I looooved getting my curves. I think I look better now, like my body was just waiting for them.
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 11:38 pm
    by  Jo
    This is fantastic! What great service you do for your daughter and society (and yourself!).
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jan 5, 2013 at 3:00 am
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 3:00 am
    @Jo: Thank you! I don't know what her metabolism or height or curves will be like, I want her to be ready for anything.
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  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 12:06 am
    by  Teri
    What a fantastic answer!!! Wonderful to hear you're giving her a gift of a great self-image. Kudos to you, mom!!
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jan 5, 2013 at 2:59 am
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 2:59 am
    @Teri: I really want her to always feel as beautiful as she is. Always.
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  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 1:20 am
    by  lhewitt
    excellent - as per usual.
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jan 5, 2013 at 2:58 am
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 2:58 am
    @lhewitt: Always appreciate your support - thanks.
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  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 1:47 am
    Perfect, Kim. Gorgeous.
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Sat Jan 5, 2013 at 2:58 am
  • Report Sat Jan 5, 2013 - 2:58 am
    @Nicole Leigh Shaw: Thanks, my dear!
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 7:47 pm
    by  YKIHAYHT
    This is wonderful Kim. As a mom with 3 girls, who to this day gets belittled by her own mother, I am with you. We have to teach them to have self confidence and love in themselves! Beautiful.
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Fri Jan 4, 2013 at 8:39 pm
  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 8:39 pm
    @YKIHAYHT: Thank you so much for sharing this article. I was lucky enough to born with thick skin and a suspicion of anyone who said mean things to me, and I hope I can pass those parts of me down to my daughter (and son). I will work myself to the bone to make sure they realize how beautiful they - and those who don't look anything like them - are. Always.
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 8:17 pm
    Oh, how much do I love this? I love that she was hopping around in excitement! Maybe, I will try that today...
    Reply Delete
  • 3 replies, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Fri Jan 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm
  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 8:25 pm
    @Kerry Rossow: She's a big hopper, and cellulite is OBVIOUSLY something to get excited about!
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 8:33 pm
    @Kim Bongiorno: Well, in that case, I should be very excited!
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 8:37 pm
    @Kerry Rossow: *hop hop hop*
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 8:10 pm
    by  Mel
    Love this! Way to teach her it's a natural progression...and how beautiful it is. Mags likes to point out how my stomach looks like a wrinkly brown paper bag when I'm changing. I do the same as you. Just tell her I love all those wrinkles because every one brought me to her. And I'd much rather have a Miss Mags than a perfect tummy...well...I'd take both....but...her first! You're awesome Kim. What a lucky little girl you have!
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Fri Jan 4, 2013 at 8:25 pm
  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 8:25 pm
    @Mel: Thanks, Mel! I know how different our bodies look from childhood to motherhood, and I understand how she (and my son) will point out our differences or ask questions. I remember asking my mom questions, but she was so mean to herself, didn't realize how gorgeous she was, that I never got my answers until many many years later. I need to bite my sarcastic tongue and encourage her to see the pretty in everything...even my bagel belly. ;)
    Reply Delete
  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 7:56 pm
    Well played, mama, well played. I had a similar conversation (though not worded so well) with my oldest daughter a few years ago about what she considered her "fat leg lobes" (calves). I hope I imparted the same message you did - dissatisfaction with your body image is a terrible thing to carry around your whole life. Lovely post.
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Fri Jan 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm
  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 8:04 pm
    @hollow tree ventures: Just like I make sure they understand people come in all different colors that are beautiful, I want them to understand people come in all different sizes that are beautiful. I think the fact that so many girls hate themselves is bullshit. It'll kill me if my kids decide they aren't as wonderful as I know they are.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 6:27 pm
    by  Abby
    Love it. I grew up a twig, the daughter of a twig, and I'm still a twig. I would love to have those feminine curves and love the women who know to embrace them. Thin, curvy, tall, short--it's all irrelevant, but still so important when girls are growing up and creating their own identities. Strong role models--such as yourself--are crucial. Beautiful post ;)
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Fri Jan 4, 2013 at 7:50 pm
  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 7:50 pm
    @Abby: Thanks, Abby. I was told many mean things growing up, but I never believed them. I don't know yet if she'll have the same naturally thick skin as I've always had, so I worry. She's a beauty, and I want to make sure she understands that she's not the only one.
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  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 5:41 pm
    What a great reminder. As a mom of a girl, I try to be very conscious of the way I speak about my weigh and others; as well as, appearances, etc. This is a wonderful tid bit to file away, and use as the situation arrives. Way to handle that skinny little thing!
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Kim Bongiorno on Fri Jan 4, 2013 at 7:49 pm
  • Report Fri Jan 4, 2013 - 7:49 pm
    @KBar3 - MMR: The odd thing is, I don't consider myself fat. Yeah, my thighs are wobbly and covered in cellulite, but I'm still a healthy weight. I don't use "fat" as a bad word around here, so I don't think she was even using it in a bad way. I just refuse to take the chance that she'll someday she'll change that innocent way of thinking. The kid is drop-dead gorgeous, and I hope she always knows it.
    Reply Delete

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