We hadn’t been home from school long when she barged into the bathroom, looked at me with her big, brown eyes, and proclaimed, “Mommy, my legs are fat.”
It took no time for me to put the puzzle behind this proclamation together. This morning as we arrived at school, Szofia’s best friend met us at the door of her preschool classroom and excitedly pointed out that the girls had on matching pants today. The two compared outfits–navy leggings with a bright stripe of pink flowers running down the side–before skipping off happily to play like they do every morning.
But sometime between my departure and the time I picked her up this afternoon, a comment had been made. A comment that stuck with my daughter, just a week past her fourth birthday.
I looked at her, carefully calculating my next words. “Szofia, your legs are dancing legs. They are running legs. They are jumping legs. They are perfect, just the way they are.”
I didn’t tell her they aren’t fat (they aren’t). I didn’t tell her they’re beautiful (they are). I didn’t want her to see that my heart broke a little knowing she already equates the word fat with an undesirable quality.
Instead, I hope my words carried the meaning I don’t know if she’s old enough yet to understand: that no one has the right to judge, no one has the right to make you feel bad, and no one has the right to make you feel like anything less than the amazing person you are.