Are you unintentionally body shaming kids?

 

Aidan is often invited to parties (maybe not so much after this post) … He is shy so we inevitably find ourselves standing off to the side so he can play near mommy, which gives me loads of people watching time.

I’ve noticed a trend which really annoys me; People commenting on children’s appearance within earshot of the child, either to the parents or referencing the parents.

It’s rude and awkward STOP IT!

“Oooh she’s a fat one hey, look at those fat thighs”, “Ooh wobbly baby”, or “Shame this one looks malnourished, so skinny! Children these days are just too skinny”.

I notice the hurt in the parents’ faces and the confusion in the child’s face and I just can’t think of one reason for adults to behave like that. Perhaps the only explanation is that they are just not thinking about it, it’s just a child, it’s just a observation.

Aidan doesn’t get many comments, he is a pretty average, under the radar sized kid… his comments are usually about his hair and that it’s a good thing he is a boy with that bush of curls, because it would be unmanageable on a girl…(uhm, they seem to forget that  I have a bush of curls and I’m a girl).

What I don’t get is WHY, why do people feel the need to dissect a kid’s appearance right in front of the kid?!

It’s hard enough as an adult when another “adult” says; “wow you have gained weight” or “wow you look sickly thin” (am I the only one who knows rude people like this?)

I imagine the effect  is way worse on a child who is still developing their sense of self.

I’m not beyond reproach, I have seen a mom loading a trolley up with junk food while a very chubby toddler holds on to her leg and I thought, that’s probably not the best idea, but it’s not my kid so I keep my mouth shut! I don’t know who that junk food is for or why the child does not conform to societies norms (shame, I don’t either), what if the kid has a health problem or the mom is a caterer, so I hush up, because I do not know their story.

Pointing out a four-year-old’s chubby thighs is not helping anyone. In fact if a child’s weight is under or over by any margin I am willing to bet that the parents are well aware and freaked out enough.

It’s not like you are doing a public service; “wow he is really big, hey”…and the parent would be like, “WHAT?! I had no idea! let me rush out and speak to a doctor , thank you for possibly saving my kid”.

And while I am on this soap box… why do people feel the need to compare kids to each other in front of them.

By all means compliment kids, I believe it’s good for them, but don’t let three little girls walk into a room and be like; “Oh well aren’t you in the pink, such a cutey” , because the one in the purple and the one in the blue can hear you and go home wondering why they are not cuties.

We need to teach kids to embrace their differences, they need to know people come in various shapes and sizes, some have long hair, some have short, some have curly hair others have straight, eye colours differ, skin colours differ, WE DIFFER and it’s okay, but I think if we want to raise kids who are not little jerks we need to be weary of being big jerks …

That’s my little rant

Have a awesome Tuesday…

 

7 thoughts on “Are you unintentionally body shaming kids?

  1. Shelley says:

    What people don’t get is that that is the beginning of having body issues. I think one can throw comparing speed of development in there as well

  2. Farah says:

    You could not have put this any better. Kids will be kids, to make them self conscious about weght, hair, milestones is so unnecessary and so rude. As the saying goes, if you dont have anything nice to say, say nothing at all. Even thougj some people think they funny when they make a silly comment about a baby with fat thighs or a toddler with a curvy body. Thanks Ella (and no, I know such rude people too lol)

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