“Mom, Am I Fat?”

At some point in their lives, both of my older children have asked me if they are fat. They are not, by any means. However, that  got me thinking about why they would ask such a question. My daughter has to wear slim jeans. This morning, I had to tighten the adjuster bands (what an awesome invention, by the way!) on my kindergartener’s jeans to a level that was so tight it was ridiculous. They aren’t anorexic, but they are pretty darn skinny!

When I taught high school, I showed my students the cover of a magazine with Kelly Clarkson on it. She looked skinny. Then, I showed them a picture taken the day after of her performing at a concert. She looked at least 50 pounds heavier. Oh, the beauty of Photoshop. I explained to my students this perceived beauty concept and how magazines with tiny models on the covers were warping reality.

Today, I read an article about Israel banning skinny models. They will require models have a body mass index of at least 18.5. And, if the editors of a magazine trim down a model with Photoshop, they’ll be required to note that. This sounds like a wonderful plan! Imagine a whole generation of girls not saying, “I’m too fat” or “My thighs look huge in this skirt.”

Have you folks heard comments from your kids about their weight? What do you tell them?