My Daughter Denied Knowing Me to Friends at School Because I’m Overweight
Life has unexpected challenges, especially for parents. In today’s story, we’ll explore the depths of human emotions, question the weight of societal judgments, and witness the power of self-love and acceptance.
The mom shared her story.
“I have a daughter in 8th grade. Her school had an event on Friday that I picked her up from. The event was in the gym, and there was a mixture of parents who were just waiting in the parking lot outside but also a lot were going inside, so I decided to as well.
I went into the gym and, after a minute or so, spotted my daughter, who was standing around with a few other girls. They started walking in my direction, and I waved to flag her down. She looked at me quickly but walked right past me even when I tried to talk to her. I just kind of stood there confused and watched her say bye to these girls and then go directly into the locker room without coming over or acknowledging me. I didn’t feel comfortable going into the kids’ locker room so I just stood and waited for a few minutes and then got a text from her saying she’d meet me in the car. I didn’t think much of it, I thought maybe she was busy talking and didn’t want me to stand around and wait longer.”
“I went back to the car and she came out just a few minutes later. This is when I realized something was off. Those same girls she was talking to before in the gym started to walk by my car and my daughter actually ducked/tried to cover her face from them seeing her. I said, ’What are you doing???’ She told me to just drive and leave already. She and I are close and she doesn’t normally snap at me so I didn’t know how to respond. I started driving and we just sat there in silence for a minute and then I asked her if she wanted to tell me what was going on.”
“She told me she was sorry, but she didn’t want anyone to see her with me. I asked why and my jaw nearly hit the floor when she said it’s because of how I look (there’s literally nothing she could be referring to here other than my weight), and she didn’t want to get picked on over it. I could stand to lose about 40-50lbs, but I’m not to the point of public spectacle, so I was shocked and confused. I told her that really hurt my feelings, and I didn’t understand where it was coming from, and then she started crying, saying she was fat and she didn’t want the kids to see me and think we’re the ’fat family.’ My daughter is NOT fat. She has a naturally wider frame but does several sports and is very active and healthy.”
“I had no idea she felt this way about herself, which broke my heart even more than her apparent embarrassment of me. I assured her she was not fat at all and those girls wouldn’t ever have those thoughts if they were her real friends. I sympathized with how she felt, but to ignore me in public the way she did wasn’t okay. She apologized, and it’s over now, but I’ve never felt so bad about myself.
I guess I’m just trying to vent and also get some advice as a parent with a young teen who is clearly starting to have body image issues.”
People comforted her.
- “Honestly, a LOT of what’s happening to her is probably that inherent middle school feeling that absolutely everyone in the world is looking at you and judging you all the time and that everything about you is somehow wrong. And being embarrassed about your parents is part and parcel of that. Latching onto weight as an issue feels like an explanation, but if you weighed 40 lbs less, there probably would have been something else about you that was totally unacceptable somehow at that moment. Please don’t let a middle schooler’s insecurities get you down (although I would have also been devastated to hear that).” readermom123 / Reddit
- “That would’ve hurt so bad. Not a mom with a teen, but I remember being a teen with self-image issues. If you’re not already, I would start talking very positively about your body and limit negative self-talk. Talk positively about diversity and uniqueness with every person. That there is not one way to be beautiful and in fact, it’s our individual trait that makes us beautiful. I would take a look at what media/other influences your daughter has- like magazines, movies, etc. and see if any of them are reinforcing her body image issues too.” Certain_Seesaw5588 / Reddit
- “Hormones make our lovely children into something else. It gets better around 16-17, but 8th grade is the worse. Keep modeling self-love: stress the importance of self acceptance and demonstrate self-care. These habits will get her far in life. The five people we spend the most time around shape who we are.” kidneypunch27 / Reddit
The scars left by societal judgment may linger, but they need not define the narrative. As the echoes of rejection dissipate, a resounding truth emerges — the importance of self-love and resilience in the face of adversity. May this story serve as a reminder that the path to self-discovery is paved with resilience, compassion, and an unwavering commitment to embracing the beauty that lies within, clear of the judgments of others.