When my daughter was five, she refused to wear her puffy red coat, because another five-year-old said it made her look fat. Miss E was a far cry from “fat.” At almost nine, she still weighs in at only 55 pounds, and that’s solid muscle. If I had her booty, I’d be so proud I’d wear a thong to the supermarket.
But I digress (and have probably caused you to regurgitate a little.) My point is: How did “fat” get to be a bad word in kindergarten?
It starts young, this body image business. Even with boys, although they apparently have a different concern about size.
This week, a friend of mine watched her four-year-old son get bumped—hard–in the family jewels. She ran over to give him a hug.
“Honey, are you okay?” Buried against the comfort of his mother’s bosom, he shook his head. “Awww,” she crooned, rocking him. “Did you hurt your little penis?”
The crying ceased.
He reared his head back and stared at her, outrage shining from wide liquid eyes. “It’s not little.”
Mom wisely interpreted this as one of those seminal moments when she would either hit on the right response or have to switch the 529 to a therapy fund.
“Oh no. Right,” she said. “No. I mean… It’s exactly the right size for you.” She looked up at her friends, who all began nodding.
Who knew you had to start reassuring them that early?
Dontcha know some woman is going to have to go through that all over again when he’s fifty?