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Bella Book: You'd Be So Pretty If . . .

Bella Book: You'd Be So Pretty If . . .

My childhood is remembered in small snippets, some of which continue to shape me today. One of those moments involved a 12-year-old Bella and her mom, who said, "You'd be so pretty if you didn't have your father's nose." (Guess who grew up to find microscopic imperfections with her schnoz.)

My mom probably wouldn't have said that if she'd read You'd Be So Pretty If . . ., a book on body image written by Dara Chadwick. Although its target audience is the mommy brigade, there's plenty in here if you're not a parent — or if, um, you have lingering issues with the way your parents approached your appearance. Chadwick examines the complex dynamics between mothers and their daughters, encouraging women to help girls develop self-esteem and avoid body-image problems. It's not an appropriate Mother's Day gift — that is, unless you're the queen of passive aggression — but it's worth checking out if you're a mom, an aunt, a big sister, or just someone who wants to learn how to be a little kinder to herself.

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ren_kr ren_kr 6 years
lol I had gotten and still get loads of short jokes from family/relatives as well as people i don't know very well. It's kind of rude when I don't know you, but honestly, I'm 5', 24 and I'm pretty over the fact that I got my grandmother's genes and the oh-holy-growth-spurt skipped me. I just don't let it get to me and people who crack jokes at your expense are just silly people who don't deserve your time of the day. My mother used to make me go on diets when I was in middle and high school and mine you, I'm already tiny tiny. ridiculous! and would tell me how I would look prettier if i looked more like her. And if I ever get a pretty comment, it would always be because "you looked like me when I was little"....ARGH. I'm half of you mommy! If you don't like my other half, it's your fault you married daddy!
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 6 years
Queenegg, that's horrible! Sometimes my mom does something like that but she hardly hugs me so when she does I just take it for affection, albeit a little odd, but affection nonetheless. I'm sorry to hear that, it sucks!
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 6 years
Queenegg, that's horrible! Sometimes my mom does something like that but she hardly hugs me so when she does I just take it for affection, albeit a little odd, but affection nonetheless.I'm sorry to hear that, it sucks!
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 6 years
Le Romantique I see your avatar on here all the time and I think your such a pretty girl, I can't believe anyone would even hint anything differen!
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 6 years
BellaSugar, I can relate to your story and that of some of the other posters here...my mom critisized my lips (she said they were like black people lips) and because of my hair she would tell me that I have "bad hair" and I just had to deal with it (this when I argued that she was too rough with my hair and forced me to get relaxers.) Mom will tell one of my sisters that she has to gain "twenty pounds" (I sincerely hope that is her propensity for exaggeration) and then tell me when thinks I'm too thin or starting to gain weight, I don't normally fluctuate a lot in weight but recently I did a little. Anyhow, thanks for this book reccomendation, I will def check it out.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 6 years
BellaSugar, I can relate to your story and that of some of the other posters here...my mom critisized my lips (she said they were like black people lips) and because of my hair she would tell me that I have "bad hair" and I just had to deal with it (this when I argued that she was too rough with my hair and forced me to get relaxers.)Mom will tell one of my sisters that she has to gain "twenty pounds" (I sincerely hope that is her propensity for exaggeration) and then tell me when thinks I'm too thin or starting to gain weight, I don't normally fluctuate a lot in weight but recently I did a little.Anyhow, thanks for this book reccomendation, I will def check it out.
fcseamstress fcseamstress 6 years
I was very lucky to have a very over-protective big brother. He caught me crying one day (I was about 13) because my mom told me I was getting fat. He did just what he should have: hugged me, told me I was beautiful and nowhere near fat (I couldn't have been more than 130 at almost 5 ft) and walked out of my room, proceeding to start one of the biggest fights I've seen him in with my mom to this day. I have lots of positive male role models like that (my dad too!) so I didn't end up like my older sis (tons of body image issues, eating disorders, etc). My mom still makes comments to this day, and I really get frustrated and will vent to my hubby about it. In fact, recently I made the decision to loose some weight (only about 25 lbs) and I REFUSE to tell my mom. Not only will she want to know what I'm taking to lose weight (NOTHING. Water, good fruits & veggies and lots of exercise), but if I go over around that time of the month when I'm bloated or something she'll make 'those comments' that I frankly don't want to hear. *sigh* For her being feminist she's really got some image issues... But I love her anyway. Even if she makes me mad...
fcseamstress fcseamstress 6 years
I was very lucky to have a very over-protective big brother. He caught me crying one day (I was about 13) because my mom told me I was getting fat. He did just what he should have: hugged me, told me I was beautiful and nowhere near fat (I couldn't have been more than 130 at almost 5 ft) and walked out of my room, proceeding to start one of the biggest fights I've seen him in with my mom to this day. I have lots of positive male role models like that (my dad too!) so I didn't end up like my older sis (tons of body image issues, eating disorders, etc). My mom still makes comments to this day, and I really get frustrated and will vent to my hubby about it. In fact, recently I made the decision to loose some weight (only about 25 lbs) and I REFUSE to tell my mom. Not only will she want to know what I'm taking to lose weight (NOTHING. Water, good fruits & veggies and lots of exercise), but if I go over around that time of the month when I'm bloated or something she'll make 'those comments' that I frankly don't want to hear. *sigh* For her being feminist she's really got some image issues... But I love her anyway. Even if she makes me mad...
Ladytron7000 Ladytron7000 6 years
This is bad parenting. These mothers should be ashamed of themselves. My dad gave me some of that "you're a freak (goth), why don't you look like a girl" bull, but I didn't accept it. My sis is always commenting about women's appearances, and my preteen nephew refused to swim without a t-shirt because he thought he was fat. He was relieved to hear from me that it was just pre-growth spurt weight gain. (It was.) Most people are average-looking, and that's attractive because we are attracted to humans. Be kind, but don't excuse obesity as "normal." It's not.
jocupcake jocupcake 6 years
Haha. I should give this to my mom for mother's day. She was evil to me when I was younger. She always told me that I would look pretty if I lost weight and tried to accomplish this by putting me on the Atkins diet starting at age 9 or 10 and forcing me to join the swim team which I HATED because I was already so self-conscious. At least I know how not to parent if I ever have kids.
sidra5397 sidra5397 6 years
I didn't get comments like that about my image from my parents but there were a lot of short jokes from other relatives. I'm 20 years old and I'm not going to get any taller so I'd appreciate if they'd stop telling me to drink more milk so I'll grow... I have height issues that I'm trying to overcome to this day.
Nadia24gv Nadia24gv 6 years
I wouldn't dream of saying anything like that to my 3 year old,no matter how old he gets. He is still my son. Parents like that are disgusting and should have used their money on therapy, not diapers.
bellazmom bellazmom 6 years
My mom passed away before I was really old enough to care about my own looks, but I do seem to remember her bemoaning her fat thighs and dull hair, etc. I wonder how much of that I took to heart as a small child. On the other hand, I know I need to read this book as the mother of my own little Bella. I think it is less about what I say, and more about what she hears. E.g., “You would be so pretty with your hair off your face,” to me means, “Then we could see your gorgeous, brown eyes and long, fringy lashes.” To her, it could mean, “My mom is criticizing my hairstyle and calling me ugly!” I also want to learn to be supportive without turning her into a vain, mirror addict. She has little friends who are constantly checking their looks in a mirror. Ummm… Shouldn’t they be out playing??
bellazmom bellazmom 6 years
My mom passed away before I was really old enough to care about my own looks, but I do seem to remember her bemoaning her fat thighs and dull hair, etc. I wonder how much of that I took to heart as a small child. On the other hand, I know I need to read this book as the mother of my own little Bella. I think it is less about what I say, and more about what she hears. E.g., “You would be so pretty with your hair off your face,” to me means, “Then we could see your gorgeous, brown eyes and long, fringy lashes.” To her, it could mean, “My mom is criticizing my hairstyle and calling me ugly!”I also want to learn to be supportive without turning her into a vain, mirror addict. She has little friends who are constantly checking their looks in a mirror. Ummm… Shouldn’t they be out playing??
cloroxcowgirl cloroxcowgirl 6 years
Thankfully my parents weren't too hard on me about my weight growing up, although I've struggled with it since I was about 11. It was my peers, my grandparents (all but one) and especially my brother who would make cruel comments about me, both behind my back and to my face. I've more or less forgiven that cruelty, because I know I'm beautiful now (objectively speaking, of coarse;). In hindsight, many of these people were looking for the attention I was given because of the person I am - inside and out.
emalove emalove 6 years
My parents have NEVER said anything that wasn't positive or encouraging to my sister and I...all they did was make us feel good about ourselves, which is what parents are supposed to do. I think it's APPALLING that there are parents out there who would insult their child's physical appearance.
ahles ahles 6 years
And insecure one is absolutely right!I got the "you never eat, you're too skinny" routine, despite out-eating my brother on a daily basis. Oh, and whenever she was upset anything I wore was "dressing like a hooker." She'd mix it in with saying I was too picky and that I'd look good in anything.
ahles ahles 6 years
And insecure one is absolutely right! I got the "you never eat, you're too skinny" routine, despite out-eating my brother on a daily basis. Oh, and whenever she was upset anything I wore was "dressing like a hooker." She'd mix it in with saying I was too picky and that I'd look good in anything.
soapbox soapbox 6 years
Lawchick, my mum said nearly the same to me, though she tried to sound "positive". Other than that, my parents didn't bug me about my looks. Now my grandmother, that's a different story. I remember, way back when I was in 6th grade and weighed roughly 90lbs, my grandmother said, "You're pretty, but you have a fat face. And you need some boobs, you're flat chested for a girl your size!" (I was a 34A at the time) She was compairing me to my mom who has an oval shaped face and D-cups when she was a teen. To this day, I'm still a little self conscious about my face and my bra size (Even though I'm not an A anymore lol).
ELLEHUDSON ELLEHUDSON 6 years
ok what parent tells their kid "you'd be so pretty if.."??an insecure one! men would never talk like that to their sons.. women can be so judgemental and insecure! jeez.my mom tells me i'm beautiful even when i'm definitely noT! (:thanks mom!
ELLEHUDSON ELLEHUDSON 6 years
ok what parent tells their kid "you'd be so pretty if.."?? an insecure one! men would never talk like that to their sons.. women can be so judgemental and insecure! jeez. my mom tells me i'm beautiful even when i'm definitely noT! (: thanks mom!
Quirks4me Quirks4me 6 years
Ah yeah--my mom doesn't as much outright say I need to lose weight as imply it in other things she says or the looks she gives it--I constantly feel she's judging me and my sister and I have talked about how we feel our mom would love/like us more if only we lost weight. Blah.
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