What is the main role of a parent? To nourish, nurture and educate their children in the ways of the world. Well, it seems one ‘celebrity’ mum has gone too far with the ‘nourish’ but is she killing her children with kindness?
Radio host Chrissie Swan couldn’t have imagined the uproar that was about to unfold when she posed for a beautiful family photo with her two young children, Leo, 3, and Kit, 9 months. Her cherubic bubs have been described as ‘fat’ and ‘unhealthy’. Swan herself has long battled with her weight; she struggled to lose kilos to help her conceive her second child, Kit, but is she transferring her ‘unhealthiness’ to her children?
For years the images of chubby children have been portrayed as healthy. And this is the type of image which we’re talking about here. Sure, Swan’s older child Leo is perhaps a little on the large side but I’m sure Chrissie, as an educated person, knows this and will be monitoring his weight closely. Having herself endured taunts for being overweight, I’m sure Chrissie does not want the same future for her children, but neither does she want to deprive the of the chance to be just that – children.
Children need a healthy, balanced diet and to be active. Some children who appear overweight actually eat the right types of food and are incredibly active. It’s just that their bodies store fat in a different way when younger, but good nutrition and exercise habits will stand them in good stead when they are older.
I wasn’t a chubby child but my brother was and our parents were a healthy weight. We used to joke that he was so fat that he couldn’t lift his facial muscles to smile in photos. He’s now 36 and still playing soccer at a decent level, as well as holding down a full time job and running after two young children of his own. He is well within the average weight band for his (short) height. My own son when younger was also a little chubby and now, at almost 12 years of age, is probably one of the slimmest in his class – go figure.
Mums have it tough enough as it is. It’s difficult trying to balance the pressures of family life with the added pressure of perhaps having to also provide for financially for a family. Having ‘skinny’ people pass judgment on how you are bringing up your children, when they have no idea how you feed and care for your children should simply keep quiet.
Are chubby children no longer an acceptable image of health? Should parents hide away children who appear to carry a few extra kilos? Is being skinny always preferable?