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This Mom’s Response to Her Daughter Calling Her Fat Is Incredibly Sweet

My daughter called me fat today. She was upset I made them get out of the pool and she told her brother that mama is fat. I told her to meet me upstairs so we could chat. 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” Them: “yes! I shouldn’t say someone is fat because you can’t be just fat, but everyone HAS fat and it’s okay to have different fat” Me: “exactly right!” Them: “can we go back to the pool now?” Me: no ?? __________________ Each moment these topics come up i have to choose how I’m going to handle them. Fat is not a bad word in our house. If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical and undesirable. Since we don’t call people fat as an insult in my household, I have to assume she internalized this idea from somewhere or someone else. Our children are fed ideas from every angle, you have to understand that that WILL happen: at a friends house whose parents have different values, watching a tv show or movie, overhearing someone at school- ideas about body image are already filtering through their minds. It is our job to continue to be the loudest, most accepting, positive and CONSISTENT voice they hear. So that it can rise above the rest. Give me a ?? if this resonated w u! Just do you! Xoxo Allie

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Allison Kimmey, 30, is a self-help author and rad Instagrammer. She’s gone viral a few times over the past years for her body-positive parenting posts, but her June 11 one really struck a chord: After explaining her 4-year-old daughter called her fat because she was mad at her for saying she had to get out of the pool, Kimmel’s response has more than 32,000 likes.

Their conversation, which can be read in full in the caption above, ended like this:

Kimmey told Cosmopolitan.com via email this isn’t the first time she’s had to broach sensitive subjects with her kids: “One of the first [hard] conversations I had to have was with my daughter [was about a year ago] about not having to wear makeup in order to be pretty, or with my son that just because you can’t see your friends muscles doesn’t mean they aren’t strong.”

She believes this particular post went so viral because “the conversations with my children that I share seem to really empower women to feel like they can teach their children to accept all bodies, including their own.” That said, she says she never expects to go viral and that she’s only ‘gramming with the purpose of spreading self-love.

Hey babes!! It would be an understatement to say that I am overwhelmed by the level of amazing support @full_of_freckles_illustrations and I received yesterday with the announcement of our collaboration on the first children’s publication in a series of body confidence books! I’m over the moon excited to share every step of this journey with you all! SO MANY of you wanted to know how to pre-order or how to get involved…I added a link in my profile where you can find a button that says “pre-order the children’s book” and you can sign up to be the first notified when the book is officially open for pre-order! Not one comment went unnoticed yesterday and I tried to reply to each and ever one of your heartfelt encouraging messages! I want to highlight once more the talent of Sanne as she literally is INCREDIBLE!! This is the original image that inspired @full_of_freckles_illustrations to create the characters! Do you see the resemblance?! Thank you again, babes! Just do you! Xoxo Allie

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To parents who might find themselves in similar situations but are unsure of how to handle it, Kimmey suggests taking a moment to consider what your child actually said. “I always begin by asking them what they meant by their statement or if they understand what a particular word means. Usually it turns out they mean something completely different,” she says. “And from there we break it apart more, I lead with questions for them and that provides an opportunity for me to help them get the answer themselves and empowers their belief system.”

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