"You're so skinny."
Three magic words I've always longed to hear...
Until they came from my daughter.
For those of you who are new readers, 18 months ago I shared a secret here on the blog. Mostly because I wanted to bring attention to the True Campaign, a ministry that is dear to my heart.
I don't struggle with eating disorder as I did in the early part of this decade, but honestly there are still days when I choose to think things about my physical self that just aren't true; when I let feelings and the culture I live in dictate what I think is attractive.
Several week ago I received catalogues from two very popular female oriented department stores. The models on the covers were very...willowy. The Mister saw those catalogues sitting on the the counter, and was immediately angry.
"Kellie, the girls on those covers are way too thin. Why do women think that's attractive?"
"It isn't the women I'm looking at, its the product, the clothing, the beautiful household things they sell."
He stared at me long and hard and I knew he wasn't buying it. Without any words, he called my bluff.
I know he is right.
Skinniness still holds a powerful attraction to this former disordered eater...I no longer have the energy or drive to wear skinniness anymore...but I'm still sometimes seduced by its call.
And now, its slowly, deceitfully, almost innocently, calling my nine year old daughter.
I've always thought I was so good about keeping my issues contained around the kids. I don't talk about dieting, I don't weigh myself with them around, I try to be balanced in what we eat--not talking about certain foods being "good" or "bad". I now exercise in moderation; enjoy people and things around me.
Being outwardly grateful for the body I have...
But, we're only as strong as our weakest link, and the catalogues on my counter tell it all.
If my daughter can't escape from the images that bombard our minds in the safety of her own home, where can she rest?
The truth is I look at those models and sometimes wish...
And my daughter?
Well, she looks at me.
Her statement that day she as watched me dress rang an alarm from the depths of my soul that refuses to be silenced.
In that moment of truth, a deep place I hadn't realized was chained to the bondage of 'thin' was awakened. Released. --A tiger no longer caged, who's cubs are at risk.
I may not be able to stop all things that stand in the face of my daughter and beg her to compare herself to an unmeasurable standard, but I can will take her hand and lead by example.
She may be called by pictures, by culture, by peer pressure, by fashion, by media, and all things that "set the standards"....
...but, she is watching me.
If you are not familiar with the True Campaign go on over and check it out. On this page you can be a part of the True Campaign by signing up. If you only have time to do one thing today, don't leave a comment here and use that time to check them out. It's time -- Challenge the Culture and End the Crises.