I was sitting on a toilet, feeling surprised and kind of insulted, when I realized I had an opportunity before me like no other.
It began with the need to pee: first my 5-year-old daughter, then me.
As I was sitting on the toilet and she was washing her hands, still without pants, she declared, "Mama, you have fat legs! Not like mine -- look at mine."
She then ran her hand along her twiggy little leg, like Vanna White on some cruel version of Wheel of Fortune.
I looked down at my lumpy pale thighs in comparison, squashed against the porcelain throne's seat like bread dough that refused to rise.
In a flash I was back in the kitchen of the house I grew up in, talking to my own mom.
My mother said some disgusted comment or another about what I was eating, and how one day I'd know what it was like to have hips like hers.
I was befuddled. Already well into my teen years, my hip bones simply protruded from my body at sharp angles, then smoothly dipped towards a flat stomach. I poked at my hips, feeling nothing but skin and bone.
"I don't get it -- how can bones get fat on them?" I was genuinely curious. I looked to her for an answer.
My mom got all flustered and her voice shook. "You wait and see." Then she ran from the kitchen, locking herself in her bedroom.
That scene was twenty years ago, before I truly understood how much my mom hated how her hips looked.
If I had been a more sensitive girl back then, her reaction to my thinness and her desire to be thinner could have made me fear weight gain. Made me think it was normal to be disgusted by my own changing body. Made me believe in one ideal physique, which was not genetically in the cards for me.
I refused to let this conversation end as badly as that one could have.
I took my eyes off my blubbery thigh and looked at my daughter.
"Good job, you're right! There is more fat on my legs than yours. When you become a grown-up, you get all sorts of beautiful curves like this. Isn't that exciting?"
She looked at her little legs, then mine, then back to hers. Then she smiled. "I'm gonna look like you when I'm a growned-up?"
"Yep. And I looked like you when I was 5. It's kind of fun getting to look different when you get older, dontcha think?"
She started hopping excitedly, and replied "Yeah! And I get bigger and older every day, Mama!"
With a smile on her face, she dashed out of the bathroom feeling confident in her current skinny legs, and looking forward to what the meat of Motherhood will do to her hips twenty years from now, leaving her pants and a hopeful mom in her wake.
After the media focused on her alleged weight gain in September 2012, Gaga hit back at critics by baring her body in photographs, sharing her struggles with an eating disorder, and inviting her fans to join her in a "body revolution."
Adele says she tries not to worry about her body image and doesn't want to be a "skinny minnie." "The first thing to do is be happy with yourself and appreciate your body -- only then should you try to change things about yourself."
The actress took to Twitter to say, "I'm not trying to be hot. I'm just trying to be a good actress and entertain people."
After the March 2012 frenzy around Judd's "puffy face," the actress fought back in The Daily Beast, calling the media out for making women's bodies "a source of speculation, ridicule, and invalidation, as if they belong to others."
Tate's essay about body image and motherhood not only broke the Internet; it has sparked a movement of "moms who stay in the picture."
On her informed, thoughtful blog "The Beheld," Autumn writes about beauty, body image, appearance and her two -- that's right, two -- mirror fasts.
Gruys went on a year-long mirror fast during which she did not study her reflection in mirrors or other reflective surfaces, or look at photographs of herself.
"I am always in support of someone who is willing and comfortable in their own skin enough to embrace it," the singer said in a recent interview.
At the 2012 New Yorker Festival, the magazine's TV critic, Emily Nussbaum, asked Lena Dunham, producer, creator and star of the hit HBO show "Girls," why Dunham is naked in so many scenes. Dunham responded, "I realized that what was missing in movies for me was the presence of bodies I understood." She said she plans to live until she is 105 and show her thighs every day.
Chung responded to critics who suggested that her slight frame made her a bad role model for young women, saying: "Just because I exist in this shape doesn't mean that I'm, like, advocating it."
The NYU student started the amazing Body Love Blog, where she posted this picture of herself and wrote an open letter to those who feel entitled to shame others for the size or look of their bodies.
This 5-foot-tall, 200-pound singer spoke openly about her weight to The Advocate, saying, "I feel sorry ... for people who've had skinny privilege and then have it taken away from them. I have had a lifetime to adjust to seeing how people treat women who aren't their idea of beautiful and therefore aren't their idea of useful, and I had to find ways to become useful to myself."
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