Mother Shares Moving Story Of When Her 5-Year-Old Was Called ‘Fat’

August 30, 2017
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There’s a fine line between Body shaming and Body positivity these days. In the past, anything bigger than a stick insect was deemed to be too chubby and no ounce of fat was praised. More recently, social media has been buzzing with so many body positivity posts from woman “owning” their bodies – big or small! And people love these posts and feel a confidence boost of their own just looking at these pictures.

But for one body-positive activist who shares online, it wasn’t completely positive feedback that was received.

This summer, body-positivity activist Allison Kimmey shared a story on Instagram which went viral. In a post published June 16, she recalled a time that her 5-year-old daughter Cambelle called her fat.

Instead of reacting with resentment, Kimmey turned the moment into a lesson.

“The truth is, I am not fat,” Kimmy told her daughter at the time. “But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. 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.”

According to a more recent post, Kimmey says that the lesson really stuck.

On August 28, Kimmey shared a new photo of herself and Cambelle posing at the beach.

In the caption, she shared a story: One of Cambelle’s peers called her fat, and Cambelle responded exactly the way her mother taught her to. “Yesterday at practice my shirt came up a little bit and my tummy was showing. The girl next to me looked at me and said that my tummy was fat,” Cambelle told her mother, according to the post. “I told her that I’m not fat, I HAVE fat. And that everybody has fat. And I told her it’s okay to have fat.”

“Did she have anything to say?” Kimmey asked.

“She just said ‘oh, okay,'” Cambelle replied.

It’s a moment that Kimmey described as a “parenting win.”

“I couldn’t believe that my 5-year-old daughter had been able to handle a situation with more grace than most 30 year olds,” she wrote a bit later in the post. “Children aren’t born with hate inside them. They learn words from their environments and the things they see/hear.”  

So far the post has gained more than 15,000 likes and a flood of comments.

There are many of responses from people who say Kimmey is promoting obesity. It’s a common argument thrown at people who promote body positivity, despite the fact that size and weight are not the only way to measure someone’s health.

But the moral of the story is that Kimmey’s lesson here doesn’t have anything to do with health, does it? It’s about resisting the impulse to criticize other people simply because they look different.

The majority of commenters flooded to the post to offer support.

“Kudos to you,” one person wrote. “I wish somebody had taken the time to teach that to me at that age.”

Yay Cambelle! Yay Allison! And yay for the little girl who learn[ed] something new,” another said. “Hopefully it will stick in her heart forever.”

Follow Allison Kimmey on Instagram for more body-positive inspiration.

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