Mirror, mirror

This afternoon, I was in a fitting room of a local department store, trying on a shirt when I overheard an unsettling conversation. The woman said, “Ugh…this makes me look like an elephant.” (15 second pause) Then, “Oh, no way, these outfits make me look like an ELEPHANT!” She then encouraged her daughter to try something on, and then after what sounded like a struggle, the daughter (by the sound of her voice, maybe 10?) said, “My stomach is way too fat for this.”

I cringed. Clearly this daughter is taking cues from her mother. I listened for a while longer as the comments about clothing making them look fat continued. It was then I decided that I was going to tell this mother on my way out of the dressing room that her comments are not helpful (or healthy!) to her young, developing daughter (or her, for that matter). But when I left my “room,” the mother was not out in the hallway, so I decided against knocking on her door to tell her what I thought. (Besides, the grandmotherly fitting attendant, who had asked 3 times if everyone was “doing okay,” was staring me down.)

Just yesterday I participated in a webinar that the Renfrew Center offered, and I learned that 81% of 10 year-olds are afraid of being fat! I wonder if that mother is aware of the impact of her comments…