This blog post was written by my dear cousin Nicole. She asked me if she could write a post for Fat Tuesday, and, of course, I said, "Yes!" And I'm so glad she did, because this post hits spot on with many of the reasons that I started Fat Tuesday. So, without further ado, here is Nicole and her beautiful daughter Zoey:
This is Zoey.
She’s almost 8 years old. She is a dancer, a musician, a writer, a swimmer, a rainbow loom jewelry maker, a singer, a friend, a bookworm, and my daughter.
I recently came across a Dove advertisement on YouTube that said that 6 out of 10 girls will stop doing what they love because they feel bad about the way they look. Here-you can watch it for yourself. It’s short. I’ll wait for you.
Are you back? Oh good.
When I saw this ad I began to cry-because my beautiful daughter Zoey is a LOT of things, but one things she isn’t is stick thin.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think she’s perfect. She is a very active girl and I’m not the least bit concerned about what her waist size is at age 8. Unfortunately it seems that manufacturers of children clothing don’t seem to agree with me that Zoey is perfectly sized for an 8 year old girl because clothes for 8 year old girls are made for little girls that have legs the size of toothpicks and a waist the size of my wrist. I’ve been struggling to find clothes to fit my perfectly sized daughter almost since the time she stopped wearing diapers.
See, they make toddler sized clothing with stretchy waist bands that are wider in the waist and bottom because these clothes have to fit on a child around a diaper. But as soon as you outgrow toddler sizes I guess it is assumed that all little girls suddenly become twigs.
In the past in order to find jeans that Zoey is comfortable in I have typically buy the “loose” style jeans and I buy a size larger then her normal size. This gives her the room in her waist and legs she needs to feel comfortable in her jeans but then they are WAY too long. So we ALWAYS have to roll her jeans. Which is ridiculous because look at her!
I walked into Old Navy recently to try and find some jeans for Zoey. I was intending to buy a size up, as usual. This shopping trip, however, I discovered that I had a very limited selection. It seems that this season the style is Skinny jeans, or Super Skinny jeans.
I walked over to the boy section and boy jeans come in Slim, Regular, and Husky. Now granted, no girl wants to wear clothes that say Husky on the tag-but I was sad and mad and confused at the idea that it’s ok and even expected that there will be boys who fill out and bulk up at this age but that girls but not okay for girls. 8 year old girls are apparently expected to be Super Skinny.
As a mother I dread the thought that someday Zoey will realize she doesn’t fit into Super Skinny jeans, and that she’ll think this is somehow a bad thing. I dread the day she stands in her swimsuit at the pool or her leotard and ballet and feels inferior to the twiggy girls. I pray this day never comes. I pray she is always able to look in the mirror and see the same beautiful, talents, smart, brave little girl that I see.