There really is no wrong place to teach your kids an important lesson about body image, as evidenced by the way one dad handled a simple question about food in a Costco food court. It's so important that we make sure our kids (especially our daughters!) know the truth about expectation vs reality, and how pervasive unrealistic body expectations can be. This dad is clearly doing a good job, and it's pretty obvious that he gets it. But in a total dad way.
Reddit user Tickslady shared the conversation she overheard in a Costco food court (probably waiting for that delicious pizza!). A dad was speaking with his daughters, and a question about pictures of food turned into a lesson we hope sticks with the young girls.
Daughter: "Why does the food look so much better in the pictures?"
Dad: "Well, it is always like that."
Daughter: "Why, if it's the same food?"
Dad: "Well, there is a difference when one person has lots of time to put all the ingredients together carefully, and the lighting and everything, compared with someone trying to get the same food put together quickly with a long line of people. Kind of like women in magazines. They have the lighting and the clothes and the make up and the angle. They don't look like that everyday."
What an amazing dad! Clearly, this guy has his finger on the pulse of what matters when it comes to raising daughters. Sure, some girls see pictures in a magazine and recognize that the models and actresses are portraying something that is not realistic. But so many others see those same images and wonder why they aren't that thin, or that pretty, or why their hair isn't that perfect. It's true, those models don't look like that everyday! But for young girls and women, it's hard to make that distinction, and it can lead to some very serious body image and confidence issues.
Redditors on the thread were equally impressed with this dad's response to his daughter's question.
Sometimes, when you want to reach your kids, you have to speak to them in their level. Not everything has to be textbook and follow certain rules. This dad saw an opportunity, and he took it. And the lesson he taught his daughters that day in the Costco food court will hopefully follow them for a very long time.
Parenting is a series of surprise moments that we can turn into lessons, if we really think about what we're about to say. What could have ended with a simple answer about food photography turned into an important discussion on a topic that is probably at the forefront of this dad's mind all the time. Good job, dad! We hope your girls listened and took your message to heart that day.