After last week’s Mishpacha disaster (for which they have since apologized), I thought I should share some actual, real-life quotes that I’ve heard from various people about things mothers say to their daughters about losing weight. The reality is that no mother deliberately wants to hurt or embarrass or trigger her daughter, but with sentiments and comments like we saw from the Mishpacha ad, we can see why mothers might feel they are helping their daughters instead of realizing that they are actually causing significant and measurable harm to them. These types of comments and mindsets can affect a young girl’s self-esteem, self-confidence, body image as well as increase her risk for unhealthy and dangerous eating behaviors.
When we communicate the message that no matter what the cost, you must lose weight and you must look thin, we send dangerous, demeaning, and disparaging messages to them about themselves and about what it is that we value. And being that mothers are the parent that girls identify with most and want to please, this creates confusion, increased anxiety, pressure, and stress that can have significant and long-lasting impacts.
We must do better!