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What I learned from my mother

2013-10-30 10:17:58

Published on 2013-10-30 10:17:58

This time last year I unexpectedly lost my mother. This left a hole in my life that can never be filled. Mum was my biggest supporter and fan. So much of your identity is tied up with your Mum, that when you lose her, it can feel like you’ve lost yourself. Saskia Sarginson expresses this feeling perfectly in her book ‘The Twins’: “When people die, you lose the way people loved you. You lose the way they saw you. Nobody can replace that. Nobody will love me as my mother loved me.”

My Mum believed in me. She saw everything in me that I couldn’t see. Without her, I’ve had to learn see these things for myself.

Mum accepted me as I was. But she also accepted herself. Mum taught me to accept myself as I am and not care what others think or say. She walked her talk. Mum was confident in her own skin. I never heard her saying derogatory things about her body. She taught me to make the most of my figure and to value myself for things other than my appearance. 

Mothers are vital role models to their daughters. Like it or not, your daughter will copy your behaviour. Research suggests that poor body image can be passed down from mother to daughter. So if your daughter seems to be showing signs of disliking her body, ask yourself if you are doing anything to contribute to this feeling. For example:

• Are you constantly on a diet?
• Do you moan about your weight or your size in front of your daughter?
• Do you put your shape or appearance down in front of her?
• Do you openly express embarrassment wearing swimwear when your daughter is around?
• Do you compliment her on her appearance more than her skills and abilities?
• Do you comment on her size?

Children notice everything. Even a throwaway comment, so be mindful how you speak about your own body, as well as hers. Teach her to value herself and others by things other than appearance. Encourage her in hobbies and pursuits that

What I learned from my mother

In loving memory of my darling Mum 4th September 1941 - 29th October 2012

play to her strengths. This will help her to build confidence and self worth from within rather than focussing on appearance alone. 

If you find it difficult to like your own body, make it a priority to work on your body image. Doing this will not only benefit your quality of life, but will create a positive example for your daughter.

Be a role model for positive body image for all the young girls in your life.

If you need help or support, read my other blog articles on body image or download my body confidence guide.




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