Do our mothers have carte blanche to comment on our bodies?
On a radio morning talk show, a male deejay reported that his mother had told him he looked fat. He reasoned that, of course, his mother was free to share her opinion, and that if she wasn’t truthful with him, who would be? Agree? Would a daughter feel the same way?
And, if that is acceptable, when does a mother cross the line? There are mothers who weigh their daughters, restrict their food, buy them diet pills, comment incessantly on their weight and shape. There are mothers, like writer Pam Houston’s, who, as she ran out to the school bus each morning would shout, “Hold your tummy in!” for all the children to hear. There are mothers who will purchase a new wardrobe for their daughters following a significant weight loss, even if accomplished via an eating disorder.
If a daughter has “a face only a mother could love,” why doesn’t the same unconditional acceptance hold true for her body?