Author mom shares her inspiring method for talking to her children about body image


n response to a culture where messages of shame permeate the discussions we have about our bodies, a self-help author focused on body positivity turned to Instagram to share how she teaches her children to think and speak about body image.

"My daughter called me fat today," Allison Kimmey wrote in the caption of a photo shared to Instagram on June 11. "She was upset I made them get out of the pool and she told her brother that mama is fat."

Kimmey saw this moment as starting point for a larger conversation about the word "fat", both in definition and in the ideas it's associated with.

  • Me: "what did you say about me?"
  • Her: "I said you were fat, mama, im sorry"
  • Me: "let's talk about it. The truth is, I am not fat. No one IS fat. 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. Do you have fat?"
  • Her: "yes! I have some here on my tummy"
  • Me: "that's right! So do I and so does your brother!"
  • Her brother: "I don't have any fat, I'm the skinniest, I just have muscles"
  • Me: "actually everyone, every single person in the world has fat. But each of us has different amounts."
  • Her brother: " oh right! I have some to protect my big muscles! But you have more than me"
  • Me: "Yes, that's true. Some people have a lot, and others don't have very much. But that doesn't mean that one person is better than the other, do you both understand?
  • Both: "yes, mama"
  • Me: "so can you repeat what I said"

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