Central Maine Mom Shares Why It’s Never Ok To Tell a Thin Child to “Eat a Cheeseburger”
The push for body acceptance has appeared to ramp up in recent years and perhaps that’s due in part to social media where are bodies can be virtually consumed and therefore judged by the masses each and every day.
“That’s all you’re going to feed him? That’s not nearly enough food! He looks like he needs to eat a bunch of cheeseburgers.”
There’s also an imbalance when it comes to the conversation surrounding body acceptance. The conversation leans toward things like “fat pride” and “big is beautiful”. Neither one of those things are bad. Things do get problematic when things like “REAL women have curves” are said. Trust me, as a lanky young woman I was still that, a woman. Not any less real. And I get it to a point there have been societal and cultural standards set over the years that being skinny is some sort of ideal and is beautiful and perhaps statements like that come out of a place of hurt. That doesn’t mean it’s okay, however, and can cause great hurt. Especially with kids. It’s also worth noting that it doesn’t only impact women and girls, but also men and boys.
A Facebook friend of mine recently shared an experience she had with her 10-year-old son. She was happy to share the story so that people can be more aware but asked I leave names out to protect her son.
The other day she was taking her son to get dinner, we’ll call him Ben. Ben ordered the meal that he wanted.
The woman taking the order then looked Ben’s mom straight in the eye and said, “That’s all you’re going to feed him? That’s not nearly enough food! He looks like he needs to eat a bunch of cheeseburgers.”
It was at that moment Ben’s mom's heart broke. As a slender woman, she was used to hearing words like that and now she was witnessing her young son experience the same thing. She mentioned that at 10-years-old he can see that he’s built smaller than his peers, but hearing a skinny shaming comment from an adult stranger shines a very unwanted and unwarranted spotlight.
Regardless of the size of a child or what they order or what they look like, it is certainly no place for an adult stranger to comment on in such a manner.
Let’s teach our kids that they are beautiful no matter what. That healthy can look different for different people.
And let’s remind adults of something we all learned growing up, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.