Allison Kimmey explains how she’s raising her kids to have healthy relationships with their bodies.

Kids are always saying the wildest things. As they grow up and start to make sense of the world around them, the way they sometimes explain that world or use the things they learn can take any parent off guard.

How a parent chooses to deal with some of those comments is up to them. One mom reminded everyone of that one day when her daughter called her fat.

A Tough Parental Moment

In a viral Instagram post from 2017, Allison Kimmey shared the story of how one day, after she made her young children get out of the pool, her daughter called her fat.

“My daughter called me fat today,” she began the post. “She was upset I made them get out of the pool and she told her brother that mama is fat. I told her to meet me upstairs so we could chat,” she continued.

When Kimmey asked her daughter to repeat what she said, her daughter apologized. But Kimmey wanted to go deeper.

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“Let’s talk about it,” she said. “The truth is, I am not fat. No one IS fat. It’s not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us energy.”

Kimmey then asked her daughter whether she had any fat, to which her daughter responded that she did, on her tummy. Her son, meanwhile, added that he had some fat to protect his muscles, but his mom had more fat than he did.

“Yes, that’s true,” she responded. “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, do you both understand?”

Breaking the Stigma


Kimmey was praised for the way she handled the conversation and for sharing it. Her post was liked and shared thousands of times and was picked up by several news outlets.

“I want parents to see that we are the loudest voices our children should hear, regardless of any outside noise,” she told Today. “It is vital that we choose our words carefully and that we are willing to have these hard conversations.”

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In her original post, Kimmey also explained how children constantly pick up on ideas and values, whether at a friend’s house, school, or on TV. She reiterated how as a parent, it’s her job to be the loudest voice her children hear.

“Ideas about body image are already filtering through their minds. It is our job to continue to be the loudest, most accepting, positive and CONSISTENT voice they hear. So that it can rise above the rest,” she explained.

It Starts at Home


“Each moment these topics come up I have to choose how I’m going to handle them. Fat is not a bad word in our house,” she continued. “If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical, and undesirable.”

It took years for Kimmey, who often speaks out about body positivity online, to come to terms with her own body and the joy it can bring her no matter what size she is. Now, as a parent, she doesn’t want her children to go through those same mental health struggles.

It’s a relatable story that many parents can probably relate to, and it serves as a great example of how to speak with kids as they age. Ignoring a topic or shaming it only adds to the stigma. Kimmey believes by addressing the issue straightforwardly and positively she is helping her children love their bodies in return.

Her methods are an approachable way for parents to address body image with their own children, but it’s also a gentle reminder that kids have questions, and it’s up to us as parents to answer them honestly and thoughtfully. It’s never a bad idea for parents to get on the same page and talk about how they want to handle these moments so that you feel a little more prepared when they come up.

It’s also a reminder to everyone out there why it’s probably a good idea never to comment on other people’s bodies, no matter their age. We all internalize these kinds of comments, even when they’re innocent, so it’s a safer bet to compliment kids on their smarts, cool outfits, or some sort of accomplishment rather than how they look.

After all, even though these conversations start at home, we all know it takes a village.


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