My 8 year old daughter announced she was fat the other day.
She outweighs her 9 year old brother by 2 pounds.
She is not fat. She is long and lanky and a bit more solid when compared to her brother, but she is nowhere near fat or even slightly chubby. She is also stunning... really and truly stunningly beautiful.
I cringed when she said it, because I know I have done this to her. She has watched me agonize and analyze and watch what I eat and complain about my appearance and I have taught her that it is important.
I have failed her.
That is what they called me.
Like my daughter, I'd always been a long and lanky child, but in 3rd grade I discovered a voracious love of reading and started taking the bus instead of walking to school. That, along with what was probably the onset of pre-puberty added a little insulation that had never been there before and in the 4th grade, the children started calling me names.
Because they knew they could.
Because it devastated me and I wasn't tough enough to hide the hurt.
I never really got over it. My mother had me in counseling in the 5th grade, I went again when I was 19 and again as I was going through my divorce. This "crinkle" if you will, in my psyche is something I have never been able to heal.
I still cringe when I look in the mirror. I don't see what everyone else sees. I don't have a realistic perception of what I look like and I'm almost afraid to find out, because what if it's worse than I think?
My daughter thinks she is fat.
It is my fault.