Body image and bikinis

Filed under: Big Kids, Tweens, Teens

I remember the instant I became aware of my body as something other than a place to hang the clothes my mother bought me. I was nine years old, standing at the edge of a swimming pool in my purple velour bikini, when all of the sudden it hit me that I was practically naked in public. I jumped in the water to cover up, and from that day forward I wore a one-piece bathing suit.

I have come full circle with my own body image. After spending my 20's and 30's feeling imperfect and displeased with what I saw in the mirror, I made a conscious effort to love myself the way I am. I am not overweight or unhealthy. I am just 41 and it is what it is. And it's good. I wear two-piece bathing suits again and I don't care who sees me.

These days, when I watch Ellie parade around her room in her underwear, unselfconsciously watching herself dance in the mirror, it makes me wish she could stay that way. She doesn't look at her little round tummy and think it's too big. She sees her own perfection and is satisfied with who she is on the inside and out.

I know that some day she will experience a similar moment of awareness of her own body. And like most of us, she will probably compare herself to other girls - real and airbrushed. I just hope that she can learn to love what she sees a lot earlier than I did.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.