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What are we telling our children.


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#1 JRA

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:23 PM

Ok a bit of a spin off.

We were at the beach again yesterday. I struggle down on crutches, with one boob, and am overweight. The surf was good, so in I went. How can I resist good surf.  And then I think, there are so many here on EB who say they wont go to the beach, in a pool, because they are embarrassed by their body. Should I be the same? Should I hide my body because it is not elle's shape. Is that what my 10yo son would prefer?

But then I think, if I had a daughter, would it be the right thing to show her, by example, that unless she had the perfect body she should hide her body so others don't see it at the beach or the pool.

So my question is really. So often we see complaints here about children being body conscious from an early age, but when obviously so many parents are exactly that, how can we expect children to be different, if that is what they see all the time

Just as an aside: I too would love to have a perfect body, but you know what, I know my son would much prefer to have a parent having a ball with him in the surf than hiding away from him.

Edited by JRA, 15 January 2013 - 12:24 PM.


#2 Beancat

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:29 PM

Great post, I am with you all the way JRA.  Your son would rather have a mother that engages with him than sits on the sand coverd up.

I am about 10kg overweight and pregnant.  Yes i would love to be fitter, but you know what, I really dont care, I'd rather play in the surf too.

And you know what, as i have got older i have realised NO ONE is looking at you except you.......everyone is too busy worrying about what everyone else thinks of them

#3 Country (deci)Mel

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:34 PM

I love swimming.

I am of the opinion that if other people find my big fat body unpleasant to look at then that is their problem not mine.

Nothing is keeping me out of the water on a hot day. (or a cold day!)


I feel very sorry for people who miss out on the joys of swimming because of their unfounded fears that someone might judge them...

Nobody gives a flying fart what you look like at the beach/pool/river/dam.... just go for it!



I had a friend who raised an eyebrow or two when I was telling her about all the time I had spent in the pool over Christmas - "Didn't you care? Being in your bathers in front of other people?"  I said a large and resounding "NO!"

Those 'other people' were my MIL (she has a low opinion of me anyway!), DP - (well ....?) and my BIL (what do I care if my BIL sees my wobbly bits, would it make me less sexually attractive in his eyes? Is that in any way a problem???)

Swim! Swim everyone!

#4 password123

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:36 PM

I wish I had your confidence. I was born with a very large port wine stain from my bum to my toes on one leg. It has bothered me my whole life and I have tried everything to remove it to no avail.
I will not swim or expose my legs at any time, because when I have people stare and make comments. People can be cruel.

#5 CFMummy

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:38 PM

This is the 1st year since I was a teenager that I have gone swimming without a tshirt and the the 1st time in 3 years I have been swimming at all. I just shrugged and went oh well as my 2 girls wanted to go. Im a very overweight mum but this is the 1st time I havnt cared

#6 lozoodle

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:39 PM

I'm definitely of the get in there and not care what others think variety. I do cover up to an extent, but that is simply I now wear a tankini rather than a bikini because I have a lot of stretch marks on my tummy. Other than that I try not to worry what others think because really no one even cares what others look like on the beach, everyone is too busy being worried about themselves anyway.

I'd rather be able to get in there and have fun with my kids than miss out.

I had a few people say "gee you're game going in the water" at the pool the other day simply due to how pregnant I am and the fact that I was with a 2 and 4 year old. But I didn't see the big deal, the kids were having fun, I was hot and the swim was lovely. Win win!

I think everyone has the potential to look good anyway, its just a matter of wearing something that suits your shape and fits you properly.

Edited by lozoodle, 15 January 2013 - 12:40 PM.


#7 OneProudMum

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:39 PM

I'm a biggish woman too. I am all for embracing bodies etc. but I just don't understand why some people just don't cover up more. I don't see the need for their overhang to be hanging over their shorts and their bum showing. The same goes for slim women who wear triangle bikinis that barely cover their nipples or an obese man in speedos. It could all be sorted with appropriate clothing!!

Edited by OneProudMum, 15 January 2013 - 04:03 PM.


#8 erindiv

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:42 PM

QUOTE (countrymel @ 15/01/2013, 01:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I had a friend who raised an eyebrow or two when I was telling her about all the time I had spent in the pool over Christmas - "Didn't you care? Being in your bathers in front of other people?"



What a b***h!


I wish I had the confidence of you girls. I put on my bathers when we were camping a couple of weeks ago and cried because even though I've lost weight, it's all off my chest and I had these big empty cups. I felt horrid and immediately changed back into my clothes and sat on the riverbank.

As I sat there feeling sorry for myself, a campmate emerged from her tent in a bright floral bikini that barely contained her chest. Every single male in the vicinity couldn't look away. Later that evening I turned to DBF and declared I wanted to go get the fat taken out of my thighs and put into my boobs  biggrin.gif



#9 Spa Gonk

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

I agree totally.  My body has seen better days after having several kids.  But my biggest fault is being a bit slack with waxing my legs.  And it really does not bother me to go out with furry legs.  Swimming is fun and a good way to keep fit.  I try hard not to put any body issues onto my kids.

#10 Tigerdog

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

I'm with you JRA, frankly since I had kids I haven't given a fig about what my body looks like (aside from potential health implications) and now that I'm single again I still have that outlook, if people can't accept me for who I am rather than what I look like, then too bad!

#11 **Xena**

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

I don't think my body is 'perfect' but I accept it for what it is and am happy in my own skin. I recently went to Surfers and spent a lot of time in a bikini despite my tummy being a bit flabby and my stretch marks being on display. I hope my children also accept their bodies and realise perfection is an illusion created by the media.

#12 Tesseract

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

Couldn't agree more!

And not only does it affect our daughters, it affects our sons too. Men and boys are increasingly joining women in the body obsession. And not only that, boys need to see real and varied womens bodies rather than just airbrushed po*n stars.

#13 *Lib*

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

Its sad how many women wear shirts and shorts over their bathers. Its so cumbersome and looks silly.

#14 PreachersWife

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:46 PM

I'm a big beach lover too JRA, absolutely love spending time on the beach and in the ocean. I made a conscious desicion when my youngest was about one that I was going to go, wear my togs and enjoy the beach with my family/children and not GAF about what I looked like!

So now, I go in all my glory! I'm about 20kg overweight, have the lovely skin apron from 3 x Caesars in four years, spider veins, wobbly thighs etc. Who cares? My kids do! DD1 loves to come swimming in the "deep end" with me, DS loves to cover my legs with sand and DD2 just eats the sand at the moment. I realized that sooner rather than later they aren't going to want to spend any time with us, so just go with the flow!

With two DDs (although they're only little now) I want them to look back and say, yep mum and dad helped us have awesome summer holidays, no wonder where mum was in all the photos

#15 Rachaelxxx

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:46 PM

I think it's what we put on ourselves.  As per my post just before about binge eating. Even when I dropped the 50kgs, I was never satisfied and now I'm carrying 30kgs back of that, I don't hide my body from my girls, but I am embarrassed when they see me naked or in bathers.  

They don't make me feel conscious though, it's what I put on myself.

#16 PrincessPeach

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:51 PM

JRA - you are so spot on.

I also found that by surounding myself with firends who had loads of self-confidence no matter what size they were at that particular time in life really helps instill in me self confidence.

But having spent lots of time at the beach, it is true, nobody is really looking at you & judging. As for the life Savers....

#17 wca

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:53 PM

Awsome post! Something close to my heart. I grew up watching my very beautiful mum hide herself, never really having much fun with us as kids because she was too self concious. I used to hate seeing her sitting on the beach in her towel covering up instead of playing in the water. She never hid the fact that she hated her body, even though in my eyes she was perfect. She used to try on outfits and ask me what I thought and of course I'd say she looked great. She never listened, just got depressed and pointed out her fat rolls (which were minimal, not even fat rolls really, just normal folds).

As a result, I have TERRIBLE self esteem and have had issues with my body image for as long as I can remember. I'have a warped relationship with food and am obsessed with weight and the way I look. I tend to 'hide' myself too, and will opt to sit out of activities that may require me to be 'seen'. I am a good 15kg overweight now and I wish I appreciated myself five years ago when I was a comfortable and healthy weight.

Last week, we all went to the beach. DH sat on the shore, in the water with the three kdis, digging holds and splashing around and I sat up on the sand watching them, covering myself as much as I could. Then I started thinking about my childhood and how much I hated seeing mum miss out so I got up and joined them and pushed my own insecurities to the side and had an absolute fantastic time biggrin.gif

I'm working really hard on being aware of how I talk and act and treat myself so that hopefully I can break the cycle of crappy body image.

Anni xx

#18 Quack Quack

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

I don't really give it a second thought, every single woman on the planet (yes, even supermodels!) have things about their bodies they don't like.

For me, I choose to see the positives... that my body works, it isn't sick and it has given me 5 beautiful Children.  By far I am not perfect, but I know that if I am at the pool or the beach there will always be someone worse off than me sad.gif I choose to be grateful for what I have.

#19 Illiterati

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:59 PM

At the pools and the beach you will see more mums out of the water watching than in the pool playing with their kids. The opposite is true for blokes.

I go in and frolick with the men and kids. And the only people 'looking' at me are the women on the side lines.

With three daughters I never criticise or find fault with my own body. Some random's potential opinion of my body is not going to stop me jumping in and having fun with my kids. They are not kids forever and I am not going to miss out!



#20 feralgreenthumbs

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:59 PM

QUOTE (Tigerdog @ 15/01/2013, 01:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm with you JRA, frankly since I had kids I haven't given a fig about what my body looks like (aside from potential health implications) and now that I'm single again I still have that outlook, if people can't accept me for who I am rather than what I look like, then too bad!



Same. Well, actually I don't like what I see in the mirror and am currently on the war path to lose about 20-30 kgs, but I don't particularly care what others think.

Until I had DS I wouldn't even consider swimming, but now, I will go the the pools and swim. Yes I struggled with it at first, but now I will wear a cozzie without shorts or t-shirt and have fun with him (unless the bikini line is untamed, then I do wear shorts happy.gif no-one needs to see that).

I am trying to lose weight to be healthier and show DS a good example - it's not really about looking like a hottie for other people.

So I agree with pp,

SWIM, people, SWIM - reclaim the dolphin like fun you had as a kid! it's a hoot!

#21 Jane Jetson

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

QUOTE (*Lib* @ 15/01/2013, 01:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Its sad how many women wear shirts and shorts over their bathers. Its so cumbersome and looks silly.


It's nowhere near as cumbersome as the sunburn I get if I don't (shirt especially).

#22 LynnyP

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

I think that is a wonderful attitude JRA, fabulous.  I wish I could do it more often without cringing but, sadly, there are lots of people like Oneproudmum out there.

#23 76 others

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:04 PM

I have only just become comfortable in my skin. I am a size 14-16 and my 2 sisters are similar. I have a tonne of stretch marks. My husbands side have all had kids and they look like supermodels with not a mark. They comment on my body all the time, thinking they are helping. it's only the last year or so that I have thought **** it and starting accepting myself.

I always had a normal size body and even as a teen I was never girly girl and wore boardies and a tee, but that wasn't about covering up. I just didn't care about fashion or flaunting.

I see the old ladies at the beach with cellulite and varicose veins and i envy how seem self conscious.

I have to admit though, I believe men are just as self critical of their bodies. I truly don't believe it's just a female thing. My husband has vitillago (sp?) where he gets pigmentation patches. When I complain about stretch marks he always says "I don't even notice them", so I repeat this about his pigmentation when he complains.

JRA I think it is awesome you have so much self confidence and I think you are setting your son a wonderful example. If not about his own body, but also with future girlfriends/wife. He is going to have realistic expectations of women and see that people are beautiful no matter what shape or what "imperfections" they may have. Good on you original.gif

#24 Starrydawn

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:04 PM

I agree. I have never understood not swimming because your too big. I am overweight as well at the moment but if we are at the beach or pool I am still swimming. i couldn't stand sweltering on the side lines. But I love to swim.

Swimming is great excercise as well so people should be happy my big ass is in getting some lol

Eta I do wear a rashie though that is for sun protection.

Edited by Chedasha, 15 January 2013 - 01:10 PM.


#25 76 others

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:06 PM

QUOTE (OneProudMum @ 15/01/2013, 01:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm a biggish woman too. I am all for embracing bodies etc. but I just don't understand why some ladies just don't cover up more. I don't see the need for their overhang to be hanging over their shorts and their bum showing. The same goes for slim women who wear triangle bikinis that barely cover their nipples. It could all be sorted with appropriate clothing!!


The only reason for people (women in your words) should cover up, is because of the rate of skin cancer. I would have loved if you had said MEN and women, but alas it is obvious that we should have different rules.




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