child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

she's only 8

We had an interesting conversation today in the lunchroom and I want to throw it out there to you guys to get some thoughts.  My friend and co-worker has an eight year old daughter who has been using the f word.  FAT.  "I'm fat" with her hands on her stomach. 

They have tried to affirm her with some healthy thoughts but she still doesn't see her beauty, she sees her weight.  Of course these conversations terrify me because I was the eight year old who thought I was fat too.  All of these years later my inner eight year old still points at my thighs and moans, "So fat."  I never want another girl to hear those words.

I want her view herself with truth.  I want her to see the beauty she possesses.  She is a darling girl with a fabulous smile.  She is perfect.  But she can't see that.  She is seeing through distorted eyes.  And I have to wonder, do all girls see through distorted eyes?  Maybe, but not all girls go as far as eating disorders to fix the perception of distorted vision.

How can my friend help her daughter?  Can she avoid the road I've walked or is it as some have said genetic and cannot be stopped?  What do you say to an eight year old who thinks she is fat?  I seriously want to cry and I want to hold her and I want to protect her from this. 

Or do all girls say they are fat at eight and I'm just hyper sensitive to their negative body image?  Aren't eight year olds supposed to be more concerned with puppies and dolls than weight?  Or is that just the ideal image in my head that doesn't really exist?


  1. That has got to be a heart breaking conversation to hear... it is definitely one that is getting more common among younger kids. I read this GREAT blog post by Rachel Simmons that addresses exactly this - she had the same conversation with her 7 year old daughter. Really inspiring article!

    1. great link, thanks. I'll pass it on.

    2. Hope it helps! I work with 8-9 year olds... it is frightening what they are worried about already!