Body positive activist, author, and mum of two Allison Kimmey
has made headlines for her inspiring message for parents struggling to navigate body image with young children.
Taking to Instagram to describe a time where her young daughter had thrown a bit of tantrum after being asked to leave the pool, Allison explains: ‘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.’
She goes on to recount the conversation she had with the two children, explaining to them that the word is not to be used in that context.
‘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.’
Specifying the difference between being fat and having fat teaches young children not to base their self worth on how they look, and Allison explains that ‘fat’ is not a dirty word in their house.
‘Since we don’t call people fat as an insult in my household, I have to assume she internalised this idea from somewhere or someone else,’ she continues. ‘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’s an important message and one that Allison’s followers have got on board with in their droves – so far, the post has been liked nearly 35,000 times.
‘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,’ she concluded. ‘Just do you!’