By my calculations, it was about the thousandth time we were having this conversation. My 9-year old child refused to wear his padded winter coat, even when it was clearly too cold to manage without it. He said the jacket makes him look fat.

I am sick of this conversation, where at first we seem to be discussing the matter quite reasonably, and then it turns into crying and screaming. I can not understand why someone refuses to wear a warm jacket because of fear of being fat. If it’s that simple, let’s all just throw out our coats and jackets and be thin. No need to low-carb or paleo anymore.

But it’s not really that simple is it. This is the way the world is now. Little boys are afraid of being fat. Is this a child of my creation? Is the fat-panic a result of me constantly nagging about food? On the other hand, he claims that everyone is scared of it, looking fat. And if you look fat, everyone will laugh at you. Shocking. Was it the same when I was his age?

When I left for work, I faced a girl of about 15 years old, by my estimate. She was wearing just stockings and shorts, for what I could tell. Stockings were so thin I could almost see her bones. I was stunned. So now it’s not enough to not wear a hat in the cold, you also aren’t allowed to wear a jacket, warm shoes or even pants? Does a parent have any say to how a 15-year-old dresses? I could still force the padded jacket on my 9-year-old, by stating that it’s that or no jacket at all. But now the warm outdoor pants have mysteriously disappeared at school.

Photo by Tom Holmes.

— Editors

The writer of this story is a member of the Mom of Finland community.

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