My Mother Taught Me To Be Ashamed of My Body

As kids, my mom rotated our clothes seasonally to see what we had outgrown. We kept last season's clothes in large bags in the attic until it was time to pull them out and see what we had outgrown and needed to replace that year. I loved trying on clothes - always. Dress up was my thing. Dressing up in front of mom was not.

"No, that makes you look pregnant."

"That shows your belly/pudge too much."

"That's too tight for your body."

"That doesn't look good with your big thighs."

"These do nothing for your you and your body shape."

"Maybe if you had MY genes..."


My body had all these flaws that I had to hide. She taught me that my body was something to be ashamed of, even for a kid.  I was clearly far from perfect and had a plethora of things wrong with my body. My sister was never told these words. She was a rail, so my mom didn't have to rag on her body.  Even though we were both petite, I lacked her twig figure and therefore had to hide my body.

She may have meant well, but that didn't matter. It hurt. I was insecure and sensitive as it was. Add those harsh words and my already lacking self-worth dwindled away even more. Those words became what I saw in the mirror for 20 some odd years. I heard those words too often to remember. However,  it changed from my mom's voice to my own. The words screamed at me any time I tried on literally anything.

I learned to hate my body and be terrified of those flaws my mom pointed out all the time. Hide your body and then maybe you will be accepted - maybe then you will be normal.

I am still learning to not be ashamed of my body, but it is far from an easy thing to do. I may be 113 pounds and a perfectly healthy weight for my size, but those words still haunt me. That shame became part of me and warped the way that I viewed myself.

My experience of being shamed into hating my body did give me something positive. It taught me that no one should be ashamed of their body. I never want anyone to feel this way. I cannot wait to have children who I can teach to love and accept their bodies.




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