4-Year-Old Girl Calls Mom Fat, Mom's Way Of Silencing Her Goes Viral
FaithTap Staff 6/27/2017
Allison Kimmey is a huge advocate of loving one's body. She had grown weary of chastising herself for her cellulite and stretch marks and decided to stop bashing her body. She wanted to serve as a solid role model for her adorable daughter and not have her tot hearing her mom body shame herself.
So when Allison told her kids to hop out of the pool one afternoon, it surprised her when Cambelle, four, announced at that moment to her brother that "mama is fat." Cambelle was mad about having to get out of the water, but Allison was shocked that those words came out of her daughter's mouth.
"I was wondering where that even came from since we don't do that in our house. I also didn't want to perpetuate the idea that using the word fat was an insult. So I asked her to meet me upstairs so I could have a few minutes to gather my thoughts before I reacted."
This Cocoa Beach, Florida, family loves being outdoors and that means wearing swimsuits a lot. Allison wanted Cambelle to understand that what she said wasn't nice, but it also wasn't completely accurate.
Cambelle did feel bad for what she said and apologized, but Allison decided to explain the situation to her daughter and six-year-old son Graham. She took that moment to teach them that she isn't fat. No one is fat, she said.
"It's not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us energy."
Allison told her kids that everyone has varying amounts of fat on their body, but people with less fat aren't any better than those with more fat. The kids grasped their mom's meaningful message, which prompted Allison to share her experience on social media.
She encouraged all parents to model positive body outlooks for their kids, to teach them to embrace themselves on the inside and outside, no matter how they look physically. Parents are the "loudest voices our children should hear, regardless of any outside noise."
"It is vital that we choose our words carefully and that we are willing to have these hard conversations."
Allison, who has been inspired to pen a children's book about positive body images, said those conversations must start at a very young age. Even preschoolers, like her daughter, are exposed to body shaming.
"Since we don't call people fat as an insult in my household, I have to assume she internalized this idea from somewhere or someone else. Our children are fed ideas from every angle, you have to understand that that WILL happen: at a friend's house whose parents have different values, watching a TV show or movie, overhearing someone at school-ideas about body image are already filtering through their minds. It is our job to continue to be the loudest, most accepting, positive and CONSISTENT voice they hear."
So far, Allison's post on Instagram has received more than 34,000 likes and hundreds upon hundreds of comments. People have poured out their support for the life lesson she's teaching her children, that no matter what a person looks like on the outside, we should embrace each and every person who comes into our path of life.
God created all of us and while He wants us to take care of our bodies, the temples He gave us, He also wants us to love one another and ourselves. Embrace you, no matter your size and shape. What do you think of this well-meaning mama's approach?
Sources: Today, Instagram/Allison Kimmey FB Image Credit: Instagram/Allison Kimmey