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Mother’s message for daughter who called her ‘fat’ resonates on social media

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Allison Kimmey is an “Author, Speaker and Change-maker,” as she describes herself online — a “trusted expert in self love, body acceptance and body positive parenting.”

…and that skill came in handy during a recent trip to the beach.

Kinney posted a commentary on Instagram about how she reacted when her 4-year-old daughter, Cambelle, called her fat. The post accompanied a photo of herself and her daughter in bathing suits by the water.

“My daughter called me fat today,” she wrote. “She was upset I made them get out of the pool and she told her brother that mama is fat.”

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My daughter called me fat today. She was upset I made them get out of the pool and she told her brother that mama is fat. I told her to meet me upstairs so we could chat. Me: “what did you say about me?” Her: “I said you were fat, mama, im sorry” Me: “let’s talk about it. The truth is, I am not fat. No one IS fat. It’s not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us energy. Do you have fat?” Her: “yes! I have some here on my tummy” Me: “that’s right! So do I and so does your brother!” Her brother: “I don’t have any fat, I’m the skinniest, I just have muscles” Me: “actually everyone, every single person in the world has fat. But each of us has different amounts.” Her brother: ” oh right! I have some to protect my big muscles! But you have more than me” Me: “Yes, that’s true. Some people have a lot, and others don’t have very much. But that doesn’t mean that one person is better than the other, do you both understand? Both: “yes, mama” Me: “so can you repeat what I said” Them: “yes! I shouldn’t say someone is fat because you can’t be just fat, but everyone HAS fat and it’s okay to have different fat” Me: “exactly right!” Them: “can we go back to the pool now?” Me: no ?? __________________ Each moment these topics come up i have to choose how I’m going to handle them. Fat is not a bad word in our house. If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical and undesirable. Since we don’t call people fat as an insult in my household, I have to assume she internalized this idea from somewhere or someone else. Our children are fed ideas from every angle, you have to understand that that WILL happen: at a friends house whose parents have different values, watching a tv show or movie, overhearing someone at school- ideas about body image are already filtering through their minds. It is our job to continue to be the loudest, most accepting, positive and CONSISTENT voice they hear. So that it can rise above the rest. Give me a ?? if this resonated w u! Just do you! Xoxo Allie

A post shared by ALLIE ? Just Do You, Babe! (@allisonkimmey) on

Kimmey, who has a propensity to share photos of herself in bathing suits, proceeded to redefine what being fat means.

The truth is, I am not fat,” she wrote. “No one IS fat. It’s not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us energy.”

The moral of Kimmey’s story is that her children learned they “shouldn’t say someone is fat because you can’t be just fat, but everyone HAS fat and it’s okay to have different fat.”

“Fat is not a bad word in our house,” Kimmey noted. “If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical and undesirable.”

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And while being overweight is none of the above, having TOO much fat can prove to be unhealthy, which should not be lost in the mix.

 

Tom Tillison

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