Monday, November 1, 2010

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Christina Hendricks from AMC's Mad Men is one of my favorite actresses. It's not just because I'm a fan of the television show, but because the actress is a positive role model for women.

Hendricks, who is said to be either a size 12 or 14 is beautifully curvy. It's been written that after spending time in Europe, she gained 15 pounds because of her affection for cappuccino and pasta. We all love those things in moderation, don't we? Even though she was constantly pressured to lose weight, she says she embraced her curves. 

Here's what she told Italy's weekly fashion magazine, Grazia: "I love my body as it is. People in the industry have been telling me to lose weight for years but I like the way I look. I give credit to my mom for helping me feel good about my appearance -- for making sure I never felt embarrassed about my body, because she was never worried about looking too big."

It is so refreshing to see a celebrity who is proud of her body without succumbing to the pressure of Hollywood. She realizes that it is OK not to starve herself to fit into the mold of what you're "supposed" to look like. She is embracing her curves!

What also stands out to me is something she said in that magazine interview--that her mom made her feel good about her appearance because she learned from her example--her mom wasn't obsessed with looking thin.

Affirmation #9 here at The Embrace Your Curves Project is "I will set a good example for my children and not put myself down. Children are sponges. If they hear you saying, 'I look fat today', especially if you have a daughter, they might start doubting themselves."

Ladies, this is so true. Children are sponges and they do soak up everything they say and do. I do not have a daughter, but I do remember growing up as a daughter. Looking back, I'd say my mother spent a great deal of time worrying about her weight. I was in high school and I remember her going through a Slim Fast stage. She got down to a size 4--and even a 2 in a particular pair of Express black pants (when stirrup pant were the rage). 

She seemed to need to lose more weight, in her eyes. As a teen who was a size 9, I was constantly feeling like something was wrong with me for being bigger than my mom. I didn't seem to care about the fact that I am about 6 inches taller. What mattered then was the size on the tag. We could no longer share clothes.

Please do not get me wrong. I am not "blaming the mother" for my own insecurities. I am saying, though, that when you see your mom looking at the mirror and seeing herself as too big even when she's tiny, it can make you think, "Boy, I must be a cow."

Even as an adult, I think we take our moms to heart. I love my mother to pieces. Do not get me wrong. She just doesn't really have a filter when it comes to speaking her mind.I remember being 8 months pregnant and having her make a comment that most of the baby weight had gone to my rear end. I don't think she even realized how I obsessed over that criticism for months after the fact.

If you have a daughter, please think of the way you treat yourself. If she sees you embracing your body for what it looks like, feeling confident, and showing yourself that respect you deserve, she'll feel much better about herself.

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