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Christina Hendricks Says Her Mom Helped Her Celebrate Her Body

Did Your Mother Impact Your Body Image?

Moms can give the best advice. For Mad Men bombshell Christina Hendricks, that advice included the idea that women should celebrate their bodies. She told Health magazine:

"I guess my mom raised me right. She was very celebratory of her body. I never heard her once say, 'I feel fat.' Back when I was modeling, the first time I went to Italy I was having cappuccinos every day, and I gained 15 pounds. And I felt gorgeous! I would take my clothes off in front of the mirror and be like, 'Oh, I look like a woman.'"

Some daughters aren't as lucky. If a mom regularly complains about her diet or makes self-deprecating comments about her weight, it could influence her daughter to do the same when she grows up. What was it like for you?

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MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
My mother did. My mother had told me in jr high that I was allowed to date, but I was really wasn't interested in guys, especially the incredibly immature sex hounds in jr high/early hs, the way my guy crazy friends were. I cared more about books and video games... so any way, when I was in 10th grade, I met a guy who was fairly decent and I decided to start dating. When I went home to tell my mom about him, she told me that I wasn't allowed to see him again and that she had only told me I could date because she never thought anyone would actually date me. Because I was too ugly and fat, which I wasn't, I was just quiet and different.
cutiepiekye cutiepiekye 6 years
My mom has a great body image and that has totally rubbed off on me. She is tiny though (barely a 2) and I am a lot taller and curvier. She has a completely positive body image and encourages mu whole family to do the same.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 6 years
I was lucky enough to have a mom who was a firm believer in negative reinforcement. I was told a lot about how I needed to lose weight. Although i did not EVER have it as bad as my cousin does. My aunt was a dieter. all of her life she focused solely on body shape. she made her daughter diet, as she dieted and it was like the more she told her daughter to be skinny the more she grew into a belly. and of course then it always just creates a horrible cycle.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 6 years
bluebell, lol. My mom offered to pay for eye surgery before I left to US to pursue higher education, she thought it'd make my chance of catching a husband better (again, her conflicting message). I found out later on that it's not uncommon how many Asian women want bigger eyes -->heck I was made fun because of my tiny eyes, but what can I do, I'm just stereotypically Asian looking LOL! Oh of course I said no, thanks to my mom, and she ended up having one for herself.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
I totally agree with you, Honey! I go to my dad for advice on everything, but ignore him completely when it comes to his views of the female body. His opinions don't sway me, I like being bootylicious ;)
bryseana bryseana 6 years
My parents made insensitive comments about my height at times. But nothing too harsh. I do sort of have a complex about it though. It's like someone else said, if your own parents find something wrong with you, then what are strangers thinking about you? It's not the best feeling in the world.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 6 years
Ladies, I feel bad for you. I'm sure you are gorgeous in your own distinct way (thank goodness!). Jennifer Lopez and Kim K. large? Yeah, okay.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 6 years
Same here -- my Mom instilled a negative body-image (and negative self-image for that matter) when I was young and impressionable. Thank goodness, I matured, and began to think for myself. I overcame that complex. I stopped going to my Mom to opine about general life matters. I could form my opinions. Also, having lived enough life, I figured out my Mom was crazy. :) She still is. I'm lucky I'm alive! :)
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
My mom and I have very different bodies (my mom is tiny, my sister and I both have pin-up girl type figures), but she never said anything super positive or negative. We never talked about body love. My mom did always kind of say that there are way more important things than looks, so that's good. But she never said any "You have a beautiful body and you should embrace it" kind of stuff either. Very neutral with her. My dad, however, has always been very vocal about how "gross" he thinks large women are. He thinks Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian are way too big. He thinks Kate Moss is the ideal figure. This led to a lot of body image problems among his daughters. I love my dad like crazy, but that is one thing about him that is so negative. I remember once when my sister was in middle school, he told her she looked like she was a stuffed sausage and would never be able to wear the clothes her friends did. Weird thing is, my sister wasn't even overweight. But with my dad, if you aren't super skinny, you are fat. There's no middle ground there. However, I have always gotten positive image talks from my dad about my freckles. He never missed an opportunity when I was younger to tell me how beautiful freckles are. I think it's because he was swamped with freckles as a kid and absolutely HATED them. He did anything and everything trying to rid himself of freckles and always felt extremely insecure about them. I guess he never wanted his kids to feel the freckle-hatred he did haha
cherrypop cherrypop 6 years
Yes, in a negative way. Even my dad does the same thing. I guess it's an Asian thing. Even though my parents never said I was ugly, they would comment if I ever put on weight. Not too long ago, my dad visited me and told me I look fat (even though I gained 5 lbs living in America for the past 3 years). Not only is it with my parents, I think society plays a huge part too. Almost every girl in Singapore who weighs 100 lbs or less would complain that they're fat, like c'mon! Don't make me smack your face! I may be considered thin in America, but I would most likely be considered chunky in Singapore. I'm fine with the way I am now but sometimes, those "you are fat" thoughts would creep back into my head whenever I look at other skinnier girls in Singapore.
julea julea 6 years
My mom never, ever said anything to me that was other than "You are beautiful". She is wonderfully supportive (if a little too much so, at times). However, she had an eating disorder before I was born, and I feel that residual habits may have affected me negatively-- mostly subconsciously. Kids are very observant (dangerously so). So intentionally, never. Accidentally, a little bit. I take full responsibility for my effed-up-ness, though. I actually think my dad had some to do with it too-- he had an undiagnosed eating disorder (overeating) and showed some pretty bad habits. That's not reawlly body image, I suppose, but it affected me. Parenting is scary-- i say, everything I am, I am responsible for, and I don't blame my parents for. they are human. It's hard.
sourcherry sourcherry 6 years
My mom is not one to say that I'm beautiful and whatnot, but she never put me down either. It was sort of balanced. She did say some things there were a little hurtful when she was trying to convince me to wear braces (God forbid I just like my teeth the way they are), but then she complimented sometimes, and always reassured me about my weight when I commented something about it. I'd say it was a positive impact.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 6 years
I'm asian and my mom did the same to me as the others have posted above. In her finest moment, she had offered to pay for a nose job so I would be more attractive. She actually had a picture of an asian actress and said that was the nose I should get! I think my nose is fine and I was insulted by her comment. The funny thing is that we've had discussions about how she puts me down but she just doesn't get it. She thinks that she's helping me. I've pretty much given up hope on her changing but I can't help but argue with her when she steps over the line.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
I'm also shocked and sad that so many people had to face that criticism growing up from their own mothers. I think I was kind of an ugly duckling, but my mom never seriously put me down. My fear is that my own negative body image and baggage would become a bad example for my daughter, if I had one.
oohsexypenguin oohsexypenguin 6 years
My mother is Asian, so I understand what KadBunny and nevaeh1978 went through. She always goes on and on about how fat, frumpy and old she looks, and whenever my sister or I would eat something she would have something to say ("Should you really be eating that?", or something similar). She always thought my peers and friends were beautiful and thin, and she'd always compliment them and never say the same sorts of things to me. She's mellowed out over the years, but it's still hurtful to look back on. Luckily my husband makes me feel beautiful. But I vowed never to treat my daughters (should I have them) that way.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 6 years
When I was a kid, I always got comments from everyone about how skinny I was. My mom always told me that I looked great and that all the girls who made fun of me were just jealous. Looking back, I did look fairly sickly and not that attractive, but I'm glad my mom made positive comments. I'm shocked by how many peoples' mothers said negative things to them. That would be really hurtful.
amber512 amber512 6 years
My dad, yes, very negatively. But my mom? Not so much.
filmgirl81 filmgirl81 6 years
My my always did, and still does criticize my body, but so do most Indian parents. No matter how much I work out, my arms will still be mushy looking to her
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
My mom always told/tells me i look beautiful and fabulous. The only criticisms were when I had on too much makeup, too little clothing, or too-plucked eyebrows (and she was right!).
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
* I mean made not make. Sorry
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
She has always make me feel beautiful,but she's also honest with me. There was a time where I was a little chubby and she did told me, in a very nice way, that I needed to lose some weight, but she wasn't cruel about it or anything like that. My mom has always made me feel as the most beautiful woman in the world.
bengalspice bengalspice 6 years
My mom has always made negative comments about the way I look. Right after I got married she told me my husband would leave me if I cut my hair because I would look ugly [in her opinion]. She's part of the reason why I've wanted to gain legal guardianship of my sister so I could move her out. My sister is only 15 and is constantly tearing herself apart because of my mother's negativity.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 6 years
Kadbunny, I feel your pain. Being in an Asian family whose mother is the same way as yours :) My mom ALWAYS told me while I was growing up that I was ugly, stupid and fat (well, while the ugly and stupid for her were subjective pov, the fat thing wasn't true when I looked back on it: I was skinny although yes I gained weight to a US size 8 when I was in HS) and no man will ever want me. And then when I was a teenager and was part of the popular girls clique, she'd tell me how all my other friends are very attractive and no guys would even look at me. But she did compliment me one time when I was in high school and I will never forget, she said that I might look better if I know how to put on make-up and lost weight (a size 8 in my country is considered huge). She did push me to work hard at my study (Since according to her I was never smart) and be academically successful because no man would ever want to marry me LOL so I'd better know how to fend for myself, but then she told me to find a guy to marry when I was in my 20s, what a conflicting message now that I think about it LOL. I have a son, so thank goodness, I mean, I'm so scared I'll behave like my mom if I had daughters to the point I'll stick to just one son. Thanks.
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