I groaned. “Puh-lease. You are not even a little bit fat.” This is true. My daughter is a petite and graceful little thing, like a fairy flitting about on skinny little chopstick legs. It’s just that now that she is no longer a competitive gymnast with rock-hard abs from working out 25 hours per week, her little body is beginning to resemble those of other 12 year-old girls. Okay, well, maybe 10 year-old girls.
Still, she is not fat.
“Since you are complaining about your body,” I told her, “now you have to tell me something that you love about your body.”
My daughter thought for a minute, frowning. “We-elll,” she said. “I guess I love my long limbs. My long legs help me to run fast, and I wouldn’t want to have short, stubby legs.”
I smiled. “There you go! See? There is so much to love about your body. Now no more complaining about being fat.”
Of course, I am not very good with this. I often catch myself pinching the rolls of fat that form around my own waist and frowning about how fat I am. It is probably just an unfortunate curse of being a woman in a culture obsessed with body image. We all hate our bodies – that is, those of us who were not blessed with perfection, like Angelina Jolie (pre-surgery, that is).
“So what do you love about your body, Mom?” asked my daughter.
Ugh. My turn. Okay, well, I guess I love my lips. They are pretty awesome, as far as lips go. Almost perfect, even. My eyes are just okay. I hate my hair. And my…oops, going in the wrong direction. Think positive, Tiare. Think positive.
I almost blurted out, “I love my body’s incredible resistance to mosquitos.” Well, I do. For some reason, I never get mosquito bites like other people. Seriously. I can stand in the middle of a swarm of mosquitos buzzing around, and then walk away without a single itchy little bump. It makes me feel powerful – like, Olivia Pope powerful. Okay, no one is that powerful. But still.
“Do you know what I love best about my body?” I hugged my daughter close. “I love how my body was strong enough to bring you and your brothers into the world.”
“Oh, Mom!” My daughter grimaced and pushed me away. “Too mushy.”
I just grinned and blew her a kiss with my almost-perfect lips.