My 8-year-old was called ‘fat.’ Here’s how to fight body shaming.

I wrote a draft of this column, then deleted it. My husband said I should forget about it, that I should let my daughter be a kid without her business being in the paper. I agreed. Until today, when she climbed in my car after school and said, “You don’t want to know,” when I asked how her day went.

“Tell me.”

“My two friends called me fat. They were body shaming me.”

My jaw clenched. My hands tightened on the steering wheel. See, last week my sweet girl climbed in the car and asked what the word “chubby” meant. I asked why she wanted to know, and she reluctantly said one of her friends called her chubby. One of her good friends.

I rambled about how you can’t be fat, you can only have fat on your body, and that her shape was still changing and will for a long time. That it was rude for her friend to say that, and if she didn’t want to be friends with that girl, she didn’t have to be. (I’ve since talked to the parent and worked it out.)

My husband was wrong (which is rare) — I do need to write about this, and for good reason. My daughter is 8, in the second grade. I’m glad she didn’t know what chubby meant in that context; in my family we don’t use “fat” or anything close. We don’t comment on people’s bodies because they are none of our business. But I feel like the “battle” has begun, and I hate that for my daughter.

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