I have this quote taped to my refrigerator:
A mother who radiates self-love and acceptance actually
vaccinates her daughter against low self-esteem. – Naomi Wolf
As someone who has struggled her entire life with food and
body image issues, I plan on taking every step necessary to make sure that my
daughter does not follow in my footsteps. It is a very fine line that I walk, though, because obsessing about it
all of the time does not bode well for my daughter’s emotional well-being.
Self-esteem should probably not be at the forefront of the
parenting philosophy for a sixteen-month-old baby. So, why am I so focused on it? I guess it is because my issues have had such a significant impact on my
quality of life. Ever since I was 12
years old, I have been on some sort of diet. I was at a party recently to celebrate a friend from childhood’s
wedding. We were reminiscing and she
told me that she vividly remembers a sudden weight loss I experienced in the
eighth grade. Apparently, I confided in
her that it was the “best diet ever.” I
ate a cup of Chex Mix everyday. Oh, and
an apple I think. That was it. Do I want my daughter to reach that
point? Absolutely not. I cringe when I think about it.
I have come a long way towards self-acceptance but I still have a long way to go. For example, when am I going to stop doing an instant breakdown of where I stand on the hotness scale compared to the other women when I walk into a room? Conquering this demon would definitely be a step in the right direction. I have, after all, been happily married for ten years and have zero desire to roam. Plus, my numbers on the hotness scale haven't been at an acceptable level since my college days! So, who am I trying to impress? How can I make sure that my daughter is not afflicted with the same superficial flaws that pervade my day-to-day existence? I don't know why I keep asking these questions. I already know the answer. Naomi Wolf tells me every time I open the refrigerator.