Children can come up with the strangest things to say. When this little girl went to swim with her mother, she doesn’t hesitate to call her “fat”, but her mom’s response is already going viral for all the right reasons.
We’re talking about Kimmey, an international self-help author and a speaker who promotes body positive attitudes, “swimwear and plus size fashion connoisseur,” and mother, runs the popular Instagram @allisonkimmey, she recently shared a post about how her young daughter called her fat when she asked her to get out of the pool. However, it is her response rather than the comment that stuck with her 121,000 followers. Her Instagram post provided perfect instruction for all parents looking for the right way to clarify the concept of fatness to their children in a constructive and meaningful way.
“I was in the beginning stages of my body dysmorphia, disordered eating and excessive working out,” said Allison. “I would spend the next 10 years fluctuating from a size 4 to 18, gaining and losing hundreds of pounds and navigating my way out of the destructive thoughts and behaviors.
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”.
In her conversation with her daughter, Allison explained: “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.”
Cambelle, her daughter, felt sorry about what she said and quickly apologized, but Kimmey still considered the incident as a learning opportunity for both Cambelle and her 6-year-old son, Graham.
Hey mama ?? In case you need a little reminding: You are your child’s greatest mentor. Period. End of discussion. Being a thinner mom doesn’t make you a better fit for parenting. Being a bigger mom doesn’t make you a bad influence. No matter your size or circumstance, the greatest gift you can give them is unconditional love and unapologetic joy. Double tap if you needed this reminder today ❤️?? Just do you babes, so our children can too! Xoxo Allie _______ #momlife #bopo #parenting #bopowarrior#effyourbeautystandards #plussize #allbodiesaregoodbodies#teachthemyoung
‘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.’
When it comes to dealing with these sorts of difficult issues, she recommends parents always taking a moment to work out what their children have actually said and what they mean by it.