What This Mom Said When Her Daughter Called Her "Fat"

When Allison Kimmey called her kids in from the pool, her daughter, upset that their playtime was over, told her brother that their "mama is fat."
Though her daughter immediately apologized and seemed to regret it, Kimmey was able to use it as a teaching moment for both of her children, she wrote on Instagram, and open up a conversation with them about how we talk about each other's bodies.
"The truth is, I am not fat," she told them. "No one IS fat. It's not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us energy."
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My daughter called me fat today. She was upset I made them get out of the pool and she told her brother that mama is fat. I told her to meet me upstairs so we could chat. Me: "what did you say about me?" Her: "I said you were fat, mama, im sorry" Me: "let's talk about it. The truth is, I am not fat. No one IS fat. It's not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us energy. Do you have fat?" Her: "yes! I have some here on my tummy" Me: "that's right! So do I and so does your brother!" Her brother: "I don't have any fat, I'm the skinniest, I just have muscles" Me: "actually everyone, every single person in the world has fat. But each of us has different amounts." Her brother: " oh right! I have some to protect my big muscles! But you have more than me" Me: "Yes, that's true. Some people have a lot, and others don't have very much. But that doesn't mean that one person is better than the other, do you both understand? Both: "yes, mama" Me: "so can you repeat what I said" Them: "yes! I shouldn't say someone is fat because you can't be just fat, but everyone HAS fat and it's okay to have different fat" Me: "exactly right!" Them: "can we go back to the pool now?" Me: no 🤣🤣 __________________ Each moment these topics come up i have to choose how I'm going to handle them. Fat is not a bad word in our house. If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical and undesirable. Since we don't call people fat as an insult in my household, I have to assume she internalized this idea from somewhere or someone else. Our children are fed ideas from every angle, you have to understand that that WILL happen: at a friends house whose parents have different values, watching a tv show or movie, overhearing someone at school- ideas about body image are already filtering through their minds. It is our job to continue to be the loudest, most accepting, positive and CONSISTENT voice they hear. So that it can rise above the rest. Give me a 🙌🏻 if this resonated w u! Just do you! Xoxo Allie

A post shared by ALLIE 🌸 Just Do You, Babe! (@allisonkimmey) on

"Some people have a lot [of fat], and others don't have very much," she recalled telling them. "But that doesn't mean that one person is better than the other, do you both understand?"
Though some people have chosen to reclaim the word "fat" and not allow it to become an insult, Kimmey takes a slightly different approach, choosing to use it as a descriptor rather than something someone "is."
"Fat is not a bad word in our house," she wrote. "If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical and undesirable."
Since she posted her story on Monday, it has gone viral, with over 32,000 likes at the time of writing.
While she might not be able to control what her children internalize from school, her friends, or media, she's making it her job to make sure that her own, body positive voice is the loudest of all.
"Our children are fed ideas from every angle, you have to understand that that WILL happen: at a friends house whose parents have different values, watching a tv show or movie, overhearing someone at school- ideas about body image are already filtering through their minds," she pointed out. "It is our job to continue to be the loudest, most accepting, positive and CONSISTENT voice they hear."
It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both. Check out more #TakeBackTheBeach here.
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