"Why is your tummy big, Mama?" is a question that many moms would never want to hear. But when Allison Kimmey's daughter asked this well-meaning question, this mom handled it like a champion.
When the mother-daughter duo were at the pool, the little girl noticed her mom's stretch marks and was curious what they were from. Allison remained neutral and explained that she got them when she "grew really fast" as a kid and when her little one was "growing in her tummy." When the child continued to inquisitively look at the lines on her mom's stomach, Allison realized that in this moment, she had the opportunity to teach her girl that it's OK to love your body and talk about it without shame.
"They are shiny and sparkly, aren't they pretty?" she said to her daughter about the stretch marks. "Yes, I like this one the best, it's so glittery. When can I get some?" the child asked. Her mom sweetly responded that she might get her "glitter stripes" when she gets older, and her girl was left in awe of her mom's body.
"It matters how we talk to our daughters about our bodies! They are listening. They are asking. And it is up to YOU to help them shape how they will feel about these things!" she wrote on Facebook. "Will you continue the shame that society has placed on you? Or will you teach her a new way of love?"
The limiting beliefs we have now as adults were formed as children. Even if you aren't directly telling a child that they are fat or unworthy, by saying those things about yourself you have indirectly led them to believe it about themselves.
It will never ever be wrong to encourage a young person to love their body, even when that body doesn't match society standards, even when you think that body might yield some bullying, self hate is never the answer.
Teaching them to see the good in themselves and equipping them with strong beliefs that every body is a good body will speak volumes as they grow older and will create a new fierce loving generation with humility and that is the best gift we can all give.