How Old Were You When You Had Your First "Bad Body" Moment?

Women share when they first felt ashamed of their shape

Last week, a mom posted this in the iVillage General Discussion: "My 5, almost 6 yr old doesn't seem to like her body. If she puts on her PJs in front of me, she tries to hide herself, esp her chest, as if she has something there."
 
Five years old and already battling body image demons? It sounds so young and yet, when I checked the research, this little girl sadly seems to be right on schedule. Forty-two percent of 6 to 8 year olds want to be thinner, and by age 10, 80 percent of girls fear being fat, reports the National Eating Disorder Association.
 
I'm not sure how, but I was a late bloomer on this front. Sure, I knew girls weren't supposed to be fat by oh, second grade. But I liked my own body well enough until college when my dining hall diet of triple-decker PB&Js lead to the Freshman 15 and the Sophomore 30.
 
So I turned to some fellow bloggers, Facebook fans and Twitter to figure out if those statistics really reflect reality -- and the answer is a resounding yes. Most of you started feeling bad about your body between the ages of 8 and 12, though several say that anxiety set in a lot earlier. Read on, then chime in below to share your own first "bad body" moment. Because talking about it is the first step to letting go.
 
The Woman: Jackie
Bad Body Moment: Age 6
"A boy in class called me 'Fat Legs.'" 
 
The Woman:
 Anonymous
Bad Body Moment: Age 13
"Kids in school started calling me Shamu and they thumped when I walked." 
 
The Woman: Betsy
First Bad Body Moment: Age 8
"Kids in class made up a nickname about the size of my butt." 
 
The Woman:
 Lynne
Bad Body Moment: Age 12
"Girls asked why I had a bra with nothing to put in it."
 
The Woman:
Autumn of The Beheld
Bad Body Moment:
Age 8
"We had our annual weigh-in at school and a girl screamed, 'You weigh A HUNDRED POUNDS?!' The way she said it made it clear that not only was 100 pounds unacceptable -- which it was; I was plumper than I should have been, because exercise was anathema to this little bookworm -- but that I should be ashamed of it."
 
The Woman:
 Anonymous
Bad Body Moment: Age 8
"My cousins started singing the 'Watch it Wiggle' JELLO song about me."
 
The Woman:
 Stephanie
Bad Body Moment: "I can't remember ever feeling good about it." 
"I recently found a summer letter written to my Grandma when I was 9 saying I would watch my weight over the summer. How sad that I have spent 30 years worrying about my body."
 
The Woman:
 Emily of the blog, Rosie Says
Bad Body Moment: Age 11
"A sales assistant called out my 'bubble butt.' She didn't mention that some people consider this a win."
 
The Woman:
 Lucretia
Bad Body Moment: Age 9
"My foster mom exploded when I took a second helping of mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner. Ever since, I've yo-yo'd with my diet going from one extreme to the other."
 
The Woman: Joanna
Bad Body Moment: Age 12
"Friends pointed out that I was 'underweight.'"
 
The Woman: Kate
Bad Body Moment: Age 10
"I thought I was fat and did aerobics before school to try to be thin." 
 

 

 
 
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