I vividly remember hearing comments about my weight as a child. That’s the thing about kids, they understand more and earlier than you expect them to. I don’t remember when this started, but I know by the time I was in 4th grade I was weighing myself and hoping to see the numbers go down. I remember comparing myself to other girls in my family or my class and wondering why I was bigger. I’ve always been bigger. Not obese not even all that overweight, but bigger. You know the- I’m a little tea pot- song?
I’m that fucking tea pot- short and stout.
Even as a girl, I didn’t have a thigh gap, I had muscle bound thighs that were great for sports, but not so great when trying on jeans. A kid once asked me, “why are your legs so big?” and you expect that kind of nonsense from kids your age. But when your own family says to you, ” well you just aren’t going to be one of those skinny girls, are you!” it hurts.
I’m a grown woman now and I’m slowly learning to appreciate my body for what it can do and what it has done- run half marathons, loved a husband, hiked mountains, grown and fed two beautiful human beings. Most of the body shaming that comes my way these days is from myself. So it’s easy to push the past into the past and forget about how hard it is to grow up in this culture. That is until your beautiful baby girl’s thigh rolls are the hot topic of conversation.
Don’t get me wrong, baby rolls are glorious. And I love talking about them. There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t say something creepy like “I could just eat these rolls!!!” to my baby girl because she is just that delicious. Some of that may be a not so well hidden pride-breastfeeding hasn’t been that easy for me and I’m proud that my hard work has translated into such adorable cheeks on both ends of her body. But how do you deal when people start mentioning your baby’s cellulite?
I don’t remember this with my son. He was just as chunky and delectable but I don’t remember people ever saying- Will you look at the thighs on him! Someone already has cellulite! How much does he weigh? Well, he is going to be a big boy!
I’m slowly realizing that when it comes to baby fat- gender matters.