Body Image


March 11, 2016

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A Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) with a master's degree in dietetics & nutrition. My passion is helping you find peace with food - and within yourself.

Meet Katy

My son is 6 months old and we (my husband and I) often complement him by saying, "You are such a big boy!" and he flashes an adorable toothless grin.  

Lately I've been wondering though, when does being "big" become a bad thing?  When he's 2 years old? 4? 10? 16? 40?  If someone came up to me right now and said, "You are such a big girl," I'd probably take offense.  So where's the line?

I'm also cognizant of the fact that "big" has different implications for males vs females.  The pressure on guys is to achieve the muscular ideal, so "big" might be perceived as a complement.  Whereas for women it's the thin ideal and "big" is an insult.

This got me curious, what do I mean when I call my son a big boy?  I suppose what I really mean is that he's growing up, completing new tasks, doing new things and that I'm excited to see this.  I think I'll change my language and start saying what I mean.  

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  1. TH says:

    We have gone through the same dilemma. And chose to be specific in speaking to our children when complimenting, supporting and encouraging them. I am 45 years old and still fight the story of being “such a big girl!!”