This morning at breakfast, Angel said "There are lots of people at my school that are much skinnier than I am. Isabelle's a lot skinnier than me."
Immediately my heart started racing and I broke into a cold sweat. (I must confess I have a bit of post-traumatic stress over having witnessed my sister struggle with an eating disorder for much of her life!) How could my 6 year old daughter already be worrying about her body image?! Especially when I am SO careful about this issue in my home! (no barbies, no Disney, etc - is it any wonder our children have body image issues in our society? ick!).
I spent the next half hour discussing that 1) More important than being 'skinny' is being healthy, and Angel is a very healthy girl - she eats lots of fruits and veggies, exercises a lot, etc. So she should not be concerned with her body. 2) FAR more important than our outward appearance is who we are on the inside. We spoke of how, some of our dear loved ones are not 'skinny' but we LOVE them because of their kindness, love, and because they are so much fun to be around. I asked "Would you rather be friends with someone who is beautiful, but not nice, or someone who is not beautiful, but is very kind?" Of course she chose the kind friend. And then, to my relief, she said "I'm beautiful AND kind! I'm the perfect friend!"
So, while she is noticing that everyone is different, at least she is maintaining her self-confidence, which will serve her well! I hope this continues for a LONG time! :)