My Daughter Thinks I’m Ugly

body image

What’s body image, Mommy?

Talk about your body image being crushed. My daughter thinks I’m ugly. She told me that I’m prettier on the inside then on the outside. She even qualified it by saying, “Mommy, I’ve lived on the inside, so I should know.” She told me this last week. I won’t lie; I wasn’t looking particularly pretty on that day. If I remember correctly, I was wearing yoga pants, a tank top and my hair was pulled back in a disheveled ponytail. You know, the same thing I wore yesterday. Isn’t that standard Mommy uniform? It is in my house. Or maybe I’m just too tired to care lately. It’s been a hectic summer with lots of changes and little sleep.

But I still can’t believe that my 7-year-old gave me the old “its what’s on the inside that counts” speech. I don’t want that speech. I wrote that speech. It’s like getting the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech. You know what it really means is that is absolutely YOU. I know she didn’t intentionally mean to hurt my feelings. That was just a side effect of her brutal honesty. It’s not like she knows about the years of eating disorders, the body dysmorphic disorder or the negative self-image that I battle daily. How could she? I hide it from her.

Have I done my job too well? I’ve always tried to teach the girls to look beyond the surface in themselves and in others. I don’t want them to think anyone’s worth is based on what someone looks like. I don’t want them to end up in the position where they judge themselves and others on what the body looks like. I want them to have a positive body image. I don’t want size and shape to matter. I want them to understand that the body is just a shell to hold the beautiful spirit within. My biggest fear is that they will end up like me.

I want to keep her body image in tact.

All I know is that it hurt. This is probably more my issue than it is hers. But aren’t little kids supposed to think their moms are beautiful no matter what they look like? Isn’t that the law? I mean there are people that do have ugly children and they still think they are beautiful because they are looking at them through love.  I don’ think it’s even possible to think our own children are ugly because they are dripping in love. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all did this? At the very least, shouldn’t our children always look at us with love colored glasses?

I always remember thinking my mom was the most beautiful woman in the world just because she was my mom. You know the lady who gave birth to me, fed me, clothed me and loved me despite my bad attitude during the teen years. The same woman who spent a lifetime making sacrifices so that I didn’t have to. My mom was always the most beautiful woman to me in any room because she loved me. She was the kisser of booboos, the mender of broken hearts and the woman who cuddled me when I was sad. She made it all better. She is amazing and she is still the most beautiful woman to me, inside and out. No one else can even hold a candle to my mom’s heart and spirit. It is unrelenting.

I do all those same things. I know that I should be proud of my daughter for looking beyond just the shell, as I have taught her but I guess I thought that only applied to other people. I took for granted that maybe my outside wasn’t as pretty as my inside. I never thought about how my own body image would suffer knowing that what was on the inside was prettier than what was on the outside.

Logic tells me that this is a good thing but why are my feelings so hurt?  Has your child ever said something to you about the way you look or dress that really hurt your feelings?

Psst, has anyone seen my little girl’s beer goggles, I think she may have dropped them at school. We need those back immediately.

My body image taken a 10 point dip since she made this comment.

 

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Comments (34)

ouch! i can tell how much you are hurt by this. to be fair, she didn’t say you were ugly. she said you were prettier on the inside than on the outside. and i would hope most people (regardless of how “pretty”) would hope people viewed them as prettier on the inside. you’ve taught her to judge people by what they’re like on the inside, and she’s judged you as pretty!

I guess I am lucky she didn’t say it the other way around. Oh wait, she has. I know she didn’t call me ugly. I know she loves me. I also know that I’m a little more sensitive than I probably should be about this but it’s the worst possible week of the month for my kid to tell me that I’ve got a great personality:)LOL

Been there, heard that. Last night my 7 y/o son grabbed my upper arm and told his cub scout troop that I was fat and squishy.

Thanks, kid.

Ouch! See, that might have made me cry a little this week. Next week, it may have gotten him and “oh yeah. Its your fault!”LOL THen I would have hugged him with my big squishy arms:)

My oldest daughter has done this, unintentionally, I think (at first). It’s all about the boobs. Hers are bigger than mine (she is 11. Fucking shit!) and she asked, while in Target, if I wanted to get matching bras but “Oh, nevermind, Mommy; they don’t have any small enough for you.” Since that comment, she’s made offhanded remarks about my lack of bosom but I want to show her I am happy with my body, I accept my nonbreastage, lack of cleavage, virtual daily need to wear a padded bra. I present the this is my body and I love it face. Inside? I HATE THIS BODY, GIVE ME BOOBS!

You are good. Never let them see you sweat. They will never know your kryptonite because you are super smart. Damn, you are good!

Does it count that my girls have all commented on my ahem…ample bussom and (non)JLo butt? I just laugh and tell them that it’s all because of them and that one day, they’ll have the exact same look as me! Usually shuts them up for a week or so.

Personally – I think you’re a knockout inside, outside and where it counts the most – in the brain!

Can I please adopt you? This would make me feel infinitely more pretty:) Thanks for the sweet words.
Finally, somebody gives credit to my brain and not just my ample bosoms with the great personality!

There’s only one solution here – make another kid and hope that he finds your features striking.

DJ,
But were it so easy. That’s a lot of work just to satisfy my vanity:)
Luckily for me, my second daughter is completely blind to my flaws and finds me quite the handsome woman:)

I’ll never forget the time one of my children told me that I look like an old man. I don’t even remember which one said it. All I know is that they were at the age when kids just say what’s on their minds, and I will never forget it. It made me feel so terrible. These days my kids know better. They tell me I’m younger than all their friends’ parents. No word on beauty, but these days I’ll take young over pretty.

My daughter is 8. I’m 54. I had her later in life. She told me today that she wished I was younger… like 20. She also wished I was pretty. I told her that some things you can’t change like your age. I wish. I wanted another child so bad I went to a doctor to help me get pregnant. Paid lots of money doing it. She’s always ashamed of me. She does want me to go to the school. She’s always putting me down. When I was het ahe I never thought anything bad about my mom. I just don’t get it. I know she’s a child but it really hurts. I canny help but think now that I madder a high mistake to have a child at my age since I’m an embarrassment. Please help me to deal with this.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a child or not, it hurts. TO be honest, it may hurt even more when it’s your own child because we just expect them to love everything about us because we do them. She loves you. I’m so sorry that you are going through this. It stinks. Please don’t let this come between you and your child. Just keep reminding yourself that she is only 8 and she has no filter and lacks the ability to tactfully say things. You may want to sit her down and just say, sweetie when you say things like that, it hurts my feelings and that may be enough to stop it. Maybe even tell her the story about wanting her so badly and what you went through to have her. Maybe it will give her an appreciation of what she has, an amazing, beautiful human being of a mother who was willing to sacrifice time, money and her own health to bring that child into the world. And take deep breaths because remember, you love her and she loves you and she is a child and they don’t think before they speak. They blurt every single thought at any given moment and it changes from moment to moment.

We all say it doesent count. Then we hear it and we’re like “what a load of shit”

My son started preschool this summer. He told me some of the kids in my class thought I was gross. I asked him what he said back to them and he said nothing. I couldn’t believe how hurt I was that 1. a bunch of 4 year olds thought I was gross and 2. my son didn’t stand up for me. Seriously, I know that’s nuts but it really hurt my feelings. I perseverated for days over what I could have done in front of these kids to be percieved as “gross!”

Hi,
great article. Here’s my take. The Disney princesses are causing a big part of this problem. They are coming into the american girls’ lives too early and every single one of them is beautiful AND wears great clothes. You see, I’m from Europe, so when I was growing up, I was read ancient roman fables, and great tales by Andersen (danish), and folk tales from all the nations, with animal characters in them, and I learned from those from a very early age, that beauty is not even so important in life. It’s being smart and kind is what got those characters life exciting. I didn’t even know what a disney princess was until I was 10 or 12. I also grew up knowing that princes and princesses are real in UK, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Greece, Netherlands, Monaco, Greece etc, because they have a reinging king or queen AND they wear jeans sometimes. Those fables got had my value system going in the right direction at an early age. Point is: less disney princesses is what I recommend. It works in our family, and we have two girls, we still go to Disney and enjoy the princesses, but in proportion.

I just had to respond to your blog because my 8 year old son hurt my feelings so badly recently that I cried for the longest time. We had been looking at Halloween costumes, and one that we had seen was a “blimp” type person inflatable costume. Air fills it up and makes the person a round globe with a head, arms, and legs. He told me that if I got that costume, I wouldn’t need air to fill it up. Normally, I’d have brushed it off, maybe even laughed at that, but for some reason that day it really got to me. DH and I both had a talk with him about the kinds of things you don’t say to people and being mindful of others’ feelings. It’s not the first time we’ve had that talk.

OMG! Tonight my 7 year old asked me to smile at her and said ‘why aren’t you as pretty as the rest of the family?’ then she said but you are the nicest. she asked me if it was mean to say and i told her she could tell me anything but I wouldn’t say that to any friend as their feelings would get hurt. Of course my feelings were hurt too but I didn’t want her to know since it was her honest opinion. So I really feel sad now.
so I certainly understand your situation!

so tonight we went out to dinner and my daughter said something about my tummy. then I said we shouldn’t get desert or your tummy will look like mine. she cried and cried. ;-( sadly i didn’t know i looked so bad to her. now the last couple days have been a rude awakening for me! i am only 130 lbs. 5’4″ I am not obese. sad to me that it bothers her that if she looks like me, she would be so sad. ;-(

Just put a comment above— won’t take it confuse

My 7 year old daughter in the last few months keeps telling me that “I need to exercise to get skinny”, or “you are too fat to do push ups”, “Don’t you want to get skinny mommy”? One night recently we were picking avatars for the xbox and she said “You have to make yours fatter mommy”…my husband says she is just saying what she sees. I’m overweight to which my husband says is ‘abnormal’. I’m 5 1 and weigh 135 lbs. I could lose 20 lbs for sure, but it is so hurtful to have my child and husband making comments on a regular basis. Although it should motivate me, it simply hurts me and pushes me further into a depressed state about myself. I don’t eat unhealthy, but I do have a job where I sit all day…and I do not work out. This I realize, I need to do and my biggest struggle is time for myself as I am in the sandwich generation with a parent in a nursing home and 2 small kids + I work full time. It hurts me when she keeps saying those things to me as I think she is embarrassed by me. Note I live in a trendy neighbourhood where ‘yummy mummies’ seem to be the norm. I’m the chubby mummy! As others have commented before me, these comments always hurt but some days these comments hurt more than others and do bring me to tears.

Oh, my friend. MY youngest does the same thing but if she sees that I get hurt by it she retracts her statements. I know it shouldn’t hurt an d she doesn’t mean it as a dig, but it does hurt my feelings, some days worse than others. Others I just remind myself that she is only 5. I’m sure no matter what weight you are, your child still thinks you every bit of amazing. And 135, doesn’t sound heavy to me at all.

I just found this when searching for “My daughter thinks I’m ugly,” I feel a bit better after reading about others with the same problem. My daughter just went on a field trip with her first grade class, I wasn’t able to chaperon this time. When I asked her, whose mommy or daddy was the chaperon, she said “__’s mom, she is beautiful and doesn’t have red spots like you.” I have adult acne, it isn’t bad but it bothers my daughter as she brings it up all the time. It made me cry, I needed comfort and I found this article. Thank you.

I’m so glad the article let you know that you are not alone. I am sure that your daughter loves you more than anyone else in the world. And if it came down to it, you are the most beautiful woman in the world to her.

My 5 year little girl told me that her brain tells her that im ugly and she keeps trying to tell it no. I told her thats ok if thats how you really feel then its ok.. Trying to teach honesty but deep inside my heart hearts so bad because a few years back she use to look at magazine models and say mommy.. I am getting older but dangg! ;( lok

Hurts sorry for the typos!! Typing too fast out of hurt does it lol it only happened last nightttt ;(

My 11 year old has recently started insulting me and calling it “jokes”. She said, “Wow did you see that fat lady? She’s really fat… I mean she’s fatter than my Mom.” It hurt. It really hurt. I didn’t realize she saw me that way. I wear a size 12 so I guess I’m bigger than I should be. I was just hoping that my daughter saw me different than everyone else. So, it gave me the opportunity to explain the difference between being honest and being cruel. And calling someone fat is never a funny joke. I just suddenly have this sinking feeling that I’m actually an embarrassment to her.

Oh no, I am so sorry. You know anyone else in the world could call me a dog face and I wouldn’t give a flying flip but you are right, the thought that someone that I adore so completely could not think that I am the most amazing thing in the word seems to streamline break my heart. If it helps any, I think at 11 she is testing her limits. She loves you unconditionally and I’m sure that one day she will realize how truly amazing you are. Hugs mama!

Natalie Champmin

I was just out of my morning shower and was covering my tummy with bio oil when my daughter decided to tell me that she hates my tummy its disgusting. She is 3 and a bit.

Haha….I just googled kids think I’m ugly and the article came up…lately my kids told me that I’m a little bit fat and a little ugly. Although I did laugh and tried to look not bothered, it did hurt me a lot…since then it made me very self conscious and I’m even scared to eat a treat in front of them as I feel guilty….I do not want to be looked at as an ugly mother…Strangely I also thought that kids would think you are the most beautiful since you are their mother, and I’m sure I never thought of my mom as ugly…

apparantly ugly

My grandaughter thinks I’m ugly and feels sorry for me because I look ugly. I’m only forty, and was actually shocked to find out she thinks I’m ugly. She talks about it often and even when she doesn’t say it with words, I see the look of pity in her eyes when she looks at me. She has even tried to make me look pretty, but was unsatisfied with the results. I tell her I like the way God made me and that I think I’m pretty, but she doesn’t have to think the same. It really hurts my feelings, but I don’t tell her that. I remember, as a child, staring at my mother and grandmother and thinking how beautiful they were. Honestly, I think something is wrong with this generation that they don’t see beauty when they look at the ones they love. I don’t know what’s causing it. My grandaughter doesnt watch Disney and she is taught that there are many types of beauty. The funny thing is, she points out how beautiful strangers are sometimes, and they are far from what society says is beautiful. I’m not quite sure why she sees beauty in everyone else, but not me. Even though it hurts me, I actually feel more sorry for her because if she can’t find beauty in someone she loves, then she isn’t letting love guide her. By the way, from looking at all the pictures attached to the comments and article, well, all of you are beautiful. You really are!

I too had a conversation with my 8 year old that somehow left me devastated.
Why in the world would I give this little girl so much power. I could feel her staring at me yesterday. She was not being particularly loving. I asked her what was wrong. I told her she could tell me anything and we could talk it out. By this time she was crying and saying she really needed to tell me how she was feeling. She precedes to tell me that my whole body was fat and that she wished she had me as her mom but in a different form. My eyebrows were too thin, my eyes and nose were too big and my hair was not soft and pretty. Oh, and my stomach, legs and butt were huge. She wished I looked like her friend’s mom. She is bawling at this point apologizing for saying hurtful things but she feels so much better because she is being “honest”. I was speechless. She said those thoughts go through her head so often that it felt good to tell me. Seriously!!! It is like she affirmed every insecurity I have felt but never said. I do Crossfit, eat Paleo and very rarely indulge. Somehow I am fit over skinny but not fat. I had two babies in my 40s so the war wounds after 3 c-sections are visible. I would like to say who cares. Obviously me! I know, my issue…. how did I raise such a superficial child. I pride myself in being genuine and authentic and would share just about anything with a stranger. I have failed somewhere. I hope and pray I can help her change that mindset. I will love her where she is and work on the obvious but I won’t lie. I feel betrayed. Girls are supposed to think their mommy is beautiful….maybe my boys will feel differently. If not, maybe by then I won’t care.

I was actually just told by my 15yr old boy that I was ugly while on a float trip yesterday. We were with a bunch on friends (all of whom have either 1 child or none and free to live at the gym as much as they please) I am a mother of 4 and not as active as i would like to be. It really hurt my feelings and im still pretty sour about it. I have raised him with manners but its like the day he turned a teenager that all went out the window. I always thought my mother was the prettiest woman alive and would never think to say any such thing to her. On a side note im sure i will be told all day how beautiful i am because i will remind him that i am too ugly to be in public so all the places he needed a ride to today I will not be going to.. 🙂

I too Googled “My kid thinks I’m ugly,” and found this site. It really is a relief. My daughter is adopted from China, and truly is a sweet kid. But the other day she said “Mommy, I wish you were Chinese too, so you could be pretty.” Now, I am torn between being proud that she sees her ‘differences’ as beautiful, and hurt because I will never look like her — and never be as “pretty” in her eyes as her birth mother might have been. I didn’t say anything, but she is pretty observant, and knew that my feelings were hurt — and she apologized, etc… Which made me feel even a little worse — she was just thinking out loud, not trying to be mean. But in my mind, I worry that she is fantasizing of a prettier, more “alike” Mommy.

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