The other night, my son and I saw a commercial for a s’mores flavored treat.
“I bet you would really like that!” He said with a smile.
I told him that it looked delicious, but that I was trying to be more careful about my food choices.
“Is that because you want to lose weight?”
I was only half listening because I was exercising my pointer finger, flipping through my Twitter feed. “Yes…and because I know healthier choices will give me more energy and make me feel better.”
“If you do lose weight….will you have skinny arms like JL?”
My finger stopped flipping and I turned and looked at him. Really?!
JL is our 16-year-old babysitter. She is darling and young and tiny. She is a great babysitter, but her body type is not the norm. At least, not the norm for a 40 something, working mother, that uses food to deal with most of her emotions.
“When she puts her arms to her side, there is space between her body and her arm.”
At this point, I was surprised that my eight years old boy even noticed. I was irritated. Is my 8 years old son already getting a false sense of what “real” women look like?! How could he think like this? Where would he hear it or learn it?
Before I climbed up on my giant soap box and started lecturing him about character and being kind vs. the ability to wear skinny jeans, I decided to breathe.
“It doesn’t matter how much weight I may or may not lose, my arms will never look like JL’s arms.”
“Oh…I was just wondering.”
I guess it is human nature to classify things and people into groups or categories. I just wasn’t prepared to be compared to the babysitter!