“Karen says if you eat too much you get flat,” Kaylee said to me the other day.
I really wonder what’s going on in Kaylee’s head when she hears a statement like that. Is she imagining eating a bunch of food and magically flattening into a Kaylee-shaped piece of paper, capable of sliding under doors? In that case, maybe she thinks becoming flat sounds pretty awesome.
Amusing preschooler translation mistakes aside, it hurt my heart a little bit to hear Kaylee say that she’s already receiving the message not to eat too much.
Fine, ok, obesity is an epidemic and blah blah fucking blah.
But Kaylee is four years old.
Can we wait a little longer before I have to worry about other people promoting an unrealistic body image for my child? Can we wait a little longer before she starts thinking she needs to be stick-thin to be accepted? Can we wait a little longer before my underweight child starts watching her figure?
I kind of want to rant now about the society we live in that values beauty over substance, and about the indoctrination of children into a cult of superficial bullshit that turns them into judgmental little bullies.
But I just … I just can’t today. I don’t have the energy to pull all that frustration into a coherent blog post.
Instead I’ll take a deep breath and remind Kaylee that she’s beautiful, no matter what. And then I’ll try to get her to eat another chicken nugget. (And some vegetables. Sheesh, calm down.)