Riley had a birthday gift card burning a hole in her pocket, and she wanted to go to Justice to buy a bathing suit. She’s outgrown everything from last year. She picked out two to try on, and in the fitting room she shimmied into the first one.
Eyes up. She looked in the mirror, grinned and giggled the most tweeny giggle you can imagine and said, “I love it!”
It fit her perfectly. It was adorable. She turned around and glanced over her shoulder at her butt.
“You have such a cute little booty!” I said.
She smiled, nodded, and said, “I know.”
She’s not conceited. She’s just a straight up, totally honest Aspergian. I tell her she might not want to say that to other people, a simple “thank you” in response to a compliment, not an “I know,” does suffice, but that I love how she’s reveling in her beautiful new body.
Seeing my girl child standing in a fitting room, trying on a bathing suit, glowing and approving of herself. Heaven on earth.
I was about five when I started hating my own body. Even though I was thin, another child told me I was fat, and ever since, I have been. And of course there was a lot of other stuff I won’t get into now, piled onto that.
Still….I can’t say I’ve ever shaken the body image issue. I have tried really hard not to pass it down to Riley. I have consciously never, not once, referred to myself as fat in front of her. I have never “been on a diet” for weight loss. We don’t watch a lot of TV and definitely not commercials. (I love TiVo).
I know she’s not out of the woods. Messages from society telling women we’re not okay are rampant everywhere. But today? She’s perfect, and she knows it.
May she always love and honor her body.