Son I Owe You a Apology

OMG MOM I’M SO FAT!! As he looked in the mirror at his own reflection.

Do you think about it? When you are in the dressing room of a new store that sizes their clothing differently? When the jeans size you usually wear don’t fit therefore making you frustrated? The sadness is an almost physical blow, causing self loathing and hate of your body. When you as a parent, a friend, a auntie or uncle look in the mirror and instead of seeing the awesome person you are all you see is the negative? Your mind, with the inner dialogue of frustration, anger turn emotionally abusive and yet you do it? You allow yourself to talk to yourself with poison tongue! You look in the mirror with loathing. Not caring that you are your child’s hero. That you are the one person that they look to as an example of what’s good and what’s bad. When nothing that you accomplish seem to matter as much as the fact you’ve went up a size?

I know this because of something that happened a couple months ago. I took my son to the doctor because he was broken out with a rash. The doctor asked him to take his shirt off. When the doctor stepped out for a moment my son, then 12, looked at his reflection in the mirror on the wall. He then turned to me and said “OMG mom look how fat I am!”.  He said this 3 or 4 times and was pinching his skin in disgust. I looked at him and was shocked! This child has to sit down, lean over and pooch out his stomach just to gather enough skin to pinch. I got up and went to him and hugged him. “Baby boy you are NOT fat!!! Please stop saying negative crap like that about yourself! You are perfect just how you are!”

This kid is my everything. The person I love most in this world, and there he was standing, looking at himself with hatred. I hugged him again and said,” son I don’t want you talking to yourself that way! That is not healthy. You are not fat at all. I don’t know why you would say that. Have kids at school been mean?”.

And then I was even more shocked when he turned to me and said “mom you do it all the time! You have my whole life, even when you were skinny. You have never said anything else when you look at yourself, but ugh I’m too fat. But to me you’ve always been perfect and beautiful. You’re my mom.”

HOLY CRAP! This child has learned many things from me, and I won’t lie and say they are all good, they’re not. But this is one thing that was never my intention of teaching my child.
I ignorantly assumed he wouldn’t be like me because he is a boy.

To be honest I have never thought negative body image would affect boys/men. Not at all. My father, brothers, uncles, not my past boyfriends… Non of them ever seemed to give a one thought to how they looked. Even my son’s father has never been into how he is built. Therefore I was ill equipped of knowledge that my own issues  was setting such a horrible example. How about you, are you or were you being the examples that you hope your children will be?

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