Offspring and I got into a discussion yesterday about body images. While we were shopping, she asked me if she could have a box of the Girl Scout sugar-free Chocolate Chip cookies. I jokingly asked her why she wanted to bother with sugar-free. She mistook what I was saying, interpreting my comment as me calling her fat. I told her, right there and then that I was NOT trying to convey that to her AT ALL! What I was meaning with my remark is that a lot of people, me included, feel like if you're going to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies, you might as well buy the high-octane stuff! There's no sense in going easy with those babies! They're a once-a-year treat, and you shouldn't feel badly about having an extravagance every now and again.
I told Offspring all about how I promised myself a loooong time ago that I would never call her fat, however tacitly, and that I would do everything in my power to never harp on her or chide her about her weight. I spoke of how I've been made to feel less than beautiful, less than normal, just LESS in general because of my size. About how I never wanted that for her and about how I was made to feel so bad all my life that I could never do that to her. We talked for quite a bit about it, and then I tried to move on before "talk" turned into "lecture." It's a fine line I walk, that talk/lecture thing.... We went on about our day.
Then earlier today, I called my mother. She asked, as she always does, after Offspring, and how she's doing. I mentioned that she seems to be growing taller every day. Mom mentioned that the last time she saw Offspring that she'd gotten taller and lost a good bit of weight as well. I asked Mom not to belabor this too much to Offspring , and began to tell her about Offspring's mistaken assumption about my comment the day before. I told her that I knew what it felt like to be harped on all of your life about your weight. Mom took exception to that, saying that she never harped on me about my weight. I quietly said, "Yes, Mom. You did. Every time you told me that I would be "so pretty" if I'd just lose some weight." She stammered that she didn't mean it like that -- didn't I know what she meant? I told her that I knew she never meant to be hurtful, but that it was like telling me that I *wasn't* pretty. A lot. She got very quiet. We got off the phone shortly afterward.
I don't know what will happen now and if there'll be any fallout, but at least I finally told her how much it bothers me. If nothing else, I can be proud that I finally got that off my chest.