Make the game your bitch

I read a post last night that made me feel like a real parental dumb-ass.  I want you to read it, too.  Not because I want you to feel like a dumb-ass, but because I’m interested in what the outcome of the game will be in your house.  It’s designed to help kids develop a positive self-image.  If you don’t have kids, you can play with the game with any other human.  You may be as surprised as I was by the results.

Here are the highlights:

The mom who wrote the article had been trying to avoid having her daughter develop a negative body-image.  Her tactic (and mine) was not saying anything about her body at all.  Then thanks to Kate Winslet she realized she needed to do more (click the link above for those details).

She started intentionally talking to her daughter about things she liked about herself and her body, and encouraged her to do the same.

It wasn’t easy for her daughter and she was surprised.

End recap.

I played the game with Anna.

Me:  hey tell me three things you like about yourself.

Anna:  [blank stare]

Me:  three about your outside, and three about your inside.

Anna:  um.  I got nothing.

Me:  WHAT?

Anna:  yeah, no.

I wanted to stab myself in the face.  Is she serious right now (would break my heart), or is she just wanting me to shut up because she’s 10 (totally acceptable)?

Me:  Okay I’ll name three things about you.  You’re really smart – I’m so proud of you for being on the honor roll at school.  You’re really funny – you crack me up all the time.  You’re kind – you’re a great friend care about other people’s feelings.

Anna:  [blank stare]

Me:  Also, you have beautiful eyes, long legs, and a great butt.

Anna:  [she laughed]

Me:  C’mon you know all that’s true!  Your turn – what do you like about yourself.

Anna:  I’ll do you.  Inside:  You’re funny.  You tell great stories.  You’re kind.  Outside:  I like the veins in your hands – they look cool.  I like your eyelashes.  I like that you’re skinny – I don’t get how you do that.

Me:  You’re not supposed to be skinny right now – your body is changing and doing really important stuff.  It needs every inch of you to get the job done.

Anna:  Okay you go.  Three things about yourself.

Me:  Funny.  Hard worker.  I care a lot about other people.

Anna:  Okay three outside.

Me:  [I’d rather have a stomach virus for three days than talk about my body.  It’s fucked up.  I know, and you know, because I told you about the dark shadow of vanity that haunts my family.] However, to appear comfortable and confident I chirped:  I like my eyes, my feet and my smile.

Here’s what I thought but didn’t say:  my skin is too dry, I need to make a Botox appointment, and start T25 – that’s my three.  No bueno.

When the game was over I was struck by two things:

1.  My daughter’s self-confidence in both categories was far lower than I would like it to be, and I didn’t even know it.  Dammit.

2.  My self-confidence in the outside category was lower than I’d like it to be, and I did know it, but I haven’t been doing anything about it.  Dammit.

Take-away:  our cat, Berrie, is the most self-confident creature in the house.

berrie

Her waist is as big as mine and she couldn’t be happier.  I respect it.

Anna and I are going to keep playing this game until we make it our bitch.

Please name three things you like about your inside, and your outside.  Was this game easy for you, or harder than you expected?

Comments

  1. Here’s to you and your daughter. Hope you both keep playing until you can rattle stuff off with ease.

  2. Hi Molly. I’m reading, but I have been down in the dumps and stressed out for the last… few days to whole existence. So, I’m not sure what to say other than what I just did.

    • I’m sorry to hear that – I hope you’re feeling better soon. Sending virtual sunshine your way : ) Thanks for reading!

      • I need more than just sunshine… but thank you!

        I met with a dietician yesterday and other garbage is going on, so a positive self-image… well, yeah.

  3. I am morbidly obese, 45 (slowly going menopausal), and have my monthly bleeding right now, not the ideal time of the month, but I will play your game, nevertheless:
    I like my hair, I like my noseback, I like my neck. On a confident day I even like my voice (is that inside or outside?).
    Inside? I manage to be funny sometimes, despite being German. I like my grasp of English (despite lacking perfection). I try to be a reliable person (that is not always easy), something I like in a person. And I like my honesty. My courage, too. And my generosity. Oops – sorry, overachiever when it comes to inside. Even though I know males do not sort their female company for inner values, I always lived by the truth that beauty is a passing thing. Hopefully dementia will not get me too soon. And I love your cat! And mine – and most cats.

    • That first line might be the bravest line to be typed in history – well done, you! You have a lot of wonderful qualities – thank you for sharing them with us. It’s funny how it’s so much easier to talk about our internal qualities. I’m the same way. I can tell you all day long about how fabulous I am on the inside haha. Squeezes to you and your cat – thanks for playing the game!

      • Not sooo brave .. this is the anonymous internet 😉

        I doubt I would have shared the third information on my own blog. Not because I am afraid of admitting that – but because I wouldn’t see a point in sharing that kind of information. Unless it’s wiht my gyn …

        Or I would want to make a point that every person is allowed to like herself (himself, if a man ever came to doubt his own likeability) even in times when we usually don’t – that is why I put that information into my comment.
        Did I share the information that due to my age I cannot only include brown and reddish in my hair colour – but white, too? So what? Who does not like to see that, shall look elsewhere. I am not begging for likes on my looks. Or applying for a job in somebody else’s bed. But then – I am not 10 and starting puberty. I am 45 (for less than two months, at least) and can see the end of my fertile years. Makes all the difference. I think I would not have been that easy 30 years ago!

  4. Is it bad that I feel narcissistic if saying anything complimentary about myself? I have so much fun putting myself down all of the time I feel very uncomfortable boosting myself up. I’ll work on this game and get back to you. Awesome post!
    P.S. your daughter is the shit.

    • I feel the exact same way, but I think there’s a difference between being able to appreciate ourselves and being a narcissistic asshole. I’ve just always been so afraid of the n word that I’ve avoided both altogether haha. Let’s work on that – keep me posted on the results: meaning please list 3 things about yourself – woot! And thanks for the compliment on the post. I’ll ass along the other compliment to Anna. She earned that one, I just brought her here : )

  5. P.S. again. Your cat is also equally the shit. And the cat wins this game for now.

  6. Same with my cats, they’re gorgeous and they know it!

    OK, I’ll give this a go.

    Ahem…

    Inside – I make my friends laugh, I’m a fighter and, erm, I have integrity.

    Outside – I have an ‘interesting’ face (aka ugly), my legs are quite long (apart from that raised vein on my left calf) and I have pretty-ish feet, two webbed toes not withstanding.

    Confession – I hate how I look and I’m trying to come to terms with it, as 60 will be my next big birthday and things ain’t gonna get prettier, in this life at any rate :-s

  7. My five-year-old daughter told me last month that she hoped I didn’t get f-a-t. She SPELLED it. During DINNER. Really. I’ve been working on a post about it. But there are just SO MANY directions to take it. I bet I could even write a whole entire blog called, “My daughter told me she hoped I didn’t get F-A-T.” and then let every mother in the world guest post. I love that you played this game with your daughter. We’re starting tonight. (And for the record: my body is strong, my huge feet are awesome, and I have a nice butt. I have a unique way of seeing the world, I can make anything, and I love deeply. Phew. That was exhausting to do without making a joke out of it.)
    Loved this post!

    • Way to go Jen! Those are some awesome qualities!!! And giiiiiirrrl, start that blog you mentioned. Believe it – it would fill up over night haha! I’m glad you’re going to play the game tonight. Please chime back in with the results : )

  8. lawrencewinans says:

    You know what I take away from this? We’ve got to start listening to our cats when they give us advice, they’re a lot smarter than we are. I feed my cat, I clean up after my cat, I move over on the bed when the cat wants my spot and the cat decides when and if she gives me love. My cat even trains me as to how she wants to be petted! I think I am owned by my cat. So lesson learned, we should all try to be more like cats.

  9. Inside: Loyal, kind, and funny. Outside: Hands, face and stomach. This exercise was easy for me. After getting heartbroken in middle school due to low self-esteem, I did some introspection and worked on how I perceive myself. I did not love my body until fairly recently though. I’m definitely keeping this exercise in mind when I have children! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Hell yes Kylie! Well done : ) Please tell us what you did to improve your body image. Thank you for chiming in and playing the game!

      • 🙂 I look at myself in the mirror naked and only say nice things about myself (sometimes with a little constructive criticism if there is something I can change). For instance, my stomach looks toned but will look bad ass when I lose the weight I want to lose, so I encourage myself in that way. “It looks great and will look even greater soon!” I also reassure myself that I am the one who decides if my body is beautiful…not the media, not my family, not my friends, etc. I decide.

        Maybe you weren’t actually asking me to tell you what I did to improve my body image, but there it is, haha! And you’re welcome!

      • That’s EXACTLY what I meant! I’m totally going to stand around naked tonight and say nice things to myself. Thanks for the scoop!

  10. You do have a beautiful smile and eyes and your hand veins rock!

    My wife sucks at seeing her own beauty too. It’s retarded. I know I’m not supposed to say that word, but it is.

    I’ll play. My beer gut is round and smooth and tan. I have lovely blue and redshot eyes and great soccer legs in photos from 20 years ago.

    I’ll play with Ace later. I bet she says, “daaaaad. Shut up and leave me alone. ” lol.

    • Hey thanks Don! I think most women suck at seeing their own beauty. Que en el mundo??? You outside traits are amazing! What about your inside qualities? Please report back on what Ace says : ) You should play with your wife too! That sounds dirty. Cool – I’m going with that. Play whatever game you want – woot!

  11. That sounds incredibly hard. I think my daughter would have an easy time of it, but she’s 5 and thinks she’s a princess. I can easily name a hundred things I love about her. But myself, not so much. Let’s see. Outside: My shoulders, my hair, my tattoos. Inside: My sense of humor, my smarts, and my empathy. But sometimes I don’t like my empathy because I get sad so easily.

    • Hahaha – practice now before she starts approaching puberty and everything gets sideways and weird…Yay you on pushing past the “not so much.” You rock! Those are awesome qualities inside and out. What are where are your tattoos and how long have you had them?

      • Yeah, I better practice now! My tats are on my wrist, shoulder, and back. One is a symbol for family from a bone carving, one my husband designed when he was 20 (lol). I’m addicted and if I was rich I’d have more.

      • Super cool! I love that your husband designed one of them – sweet!

  12. deweydecimalsbutler says:

    Things I like about my outside: my legs, my hands, and my eyes.
    Things I like about my inside: good listener, observant, and I can teach a fucking thesis statement like nobody’s business.

    And yes, your cat is awesome!

  13. Inside: I’m smart, have a kick ass sense of humor and I’m loyal to those I love and care about.
    Outside: My eyes, my boobs (even though some days I hate them) and my hair. I just recently had it dyed purple and I am LOVING it.

    Also, cats are awesome. I have three. 🙂

    • Nicely done Kim – thanks for playing!!! Boobs can be tricky. Too bad their not detachable. Like hey today I’d like to be an A cup – tomorrow I’ll go back to being a D…Someone better be working on that….You’re awesome : )

  14. Inside: I’m smart, I’m funny, I love hard. Outside: I’m 5’10” and love it, I have great hair even with the gray. I have curves for the first time in my life and I kinda like it.

    There. That wasn’t so bad.

    • Hey good job Sandy! Those are awesome qualities : ) And I’m happy to hear that wasn’t a difficult exercise – you made the game your bitch. Well done!

  15. I love Berrie. I love all cats. I miss having one around.

    Anyway…don’t you think it’s part of the human condition to be self-critical? As far as I can tell, EVERYONE engages in self-deprecation in varying amounts. What’s dangerous is when it cripples you. I wonder what it is in our chemistry that makes it easier to come up negatives and discomforting to name the positives?

    • I love our cats also – they’re a great spokespeople for naps and self-acceptance : )

      I think you’re right – self-appraisal is part of the human condition. I think it’s also something we’re taught in society. We’re encouraged to compliment other people, but complimenting ourselves is considered being conceited or bragging. There has to be a happy medium in there somewhere, eh?

  16. Inside: I’m intelligent. I’m passionate. I’m resilient. Outside: I love my full thighs. I have great freckles. My ass is to die for.

    Not super hard, but I’m definitely going to do this with my daughter!

    • You are my hero! It takes a lot of people well into their 50’s to appreciate their bodies with that kind of love and passion. I’m doing my best to be right on your heels lady. You did it – you made this game your bitch. Respect!

  17. Like Amy Munday up there I too feel like it’s somewhat narcissistic & even almost a jinx to say something nice about my looks; like, if I say I love my body after “reclaiming” it – thanks to a self-imposed gluten-free diet and about a dozen rounds of Tapout XT and counting… – will the Lord strike me down making me unable to workout ever again thereby gaining back almost ALL the weight I lost??? Ok; enough neurosis – great butt; pretty multicolor eyes; pretty lips. Inside – I’m funny; I like helping people and am creative. 🙂

    • Hahaha – I totally get it! You earned it lady – be loud, be proud! Multicolor eyes sound amazing! I would love that about myself too : ) All your qualities are beautiful and perfect. Thank you for sharing them with us and for making this game your bitch – woot!

  18. Three things times two? You don’t ask for much. *quirks eyebrow*
    Legs, hair, eyes.
    Wit, charm, common sense.

    And a well-honed sense of satire. I never could add.

  19. I almost spit my pop out when I got to end about your cat. I wish we could all be like our cats… fat and happy, napping all day. That is the life. I tried to play your game with myself and you are right it is hard. I had a much easier time coming up with what I don’t like about myself but here is my list
    1. legs
    2. i have good boobs
    3. eyes
    inside is much easier because i really believe in who I am
    1. I am a great mom
    2. I have a huge heart and love fiercely (wish i could spell)
    3. I am honest.

    I am going to reblog this and play with my daughter later who is 16. I will let you know how it turns out!!
    Smooches!!

  20. Reblogged this on jessabelltuminelli and commented:
    This is a reblog but if you have a daughter totally worth the reading!!

  21. Oh to have the self-confidence of your cat…

  22. Wow. This is powerful stuff. I might have to try to play this with Niece and Neff sometime. I think it would be a good one for them to focus on. I came here via Sandy’s link, and I’m impressed. Well done you for grasping the nettle and making it happen. And good for your daughter for eventually going along with it 🙂 That’s such positive parenting 🙂

    • Hey thanks so much! I’d love to hear how the game goes with your Niece and Neff. What about you? Let’s hear your three qualities inside and out! Please…I’m a new follower of yours – so happy our paths crossed 🙂

      • I am too, but you challenge me, for real! Depending how new of a follower you are, you’ll know I have umpteen kinds of hang-ups about this…ackkk.

        Okay. Well I ran from it before and I guess I need to stop running if it’s for Niece and Neff. Somehow.

        3 outside…I’m strong. I have a good smile. I like my hair.
        3 inside…I’m compassionate. I’m a good friend. I write well.

        Blechblechblech. Now all the voices are yelling. Hate that. This game doesn’t quell them.

      • Yay you did it!!!! Way to go!!! Practice makes perfect eh? You made this game your bitch : )

      • Ack. How often do I have to play? And can I repeat myself? Daily?

      • You could donate that $4.38 to Christian Foundation for Children and Aging; they’re out of Kansas City and do good work supporting folks in 3rd world countries. My wife and I have 7 &#sto6;ad1p2ee8’ between us.

  23. LoooooooooooOVE your cat , Berrie!!!!!!! He looks exactly like our cat, Charlie. (only chunkier.)
    Also, I adore the talks you are having w/ your daughter. FABULOUS stuff.

    • Our cats are amazing creatures – that’s a fact : ) I love your blog – anything with a “side of bitch” is right up my alley – woot! Thanks for stopping by – so happy our paths crossed!

  24. You’re awesome, Molly.

    I always try to catch myself when I start to make some disparaging remark about my body in front of my nieces. I’m sure some things slip through… I have to get better before I have a daughter. If I have a daughter. Whatever.

    Outside
    1. I like my hips, even when they have like 30 pounds extra of stuff on them. As long as they go out from my waist, I like them. I like the shape, it makes me feel like a woman.
    2. I like the top of my foot, where it meets my ankle. Particularly the right foot.
    3. My eyes.

    Inside
    1. I’m good at unraveling things that don’t make sense
    2. I can master most things I’m determined to do (luckily I’m rarely that determined)
    3. I can find the humor, usually.

    • I really appreciate how wordpress is inviting me to follow your blog after I’ve been following it since OCTOBER of last year. What in the world???? When you see that I’m a “new” follower, please know that was some dumb technology glitch and we did not break up at any point.

      As for your comment, thank you for the compliment and yay you! Those are excellent qualities to appreciate about yourself inside and out : )

      I marvel at how women (myself included whether I say it out loud or not) generally focus on the tiny imperfections while overlooking the massively awesome qualities we do have – on the outside. It seems we all think we’re pretty damn fabulous on the inside. So there’s that : )

      Thanks for chiming in – I always love seeing your name pop up!

  25. Does it count if I list, Red wine, Spaghetti Bolognaise and Jelly Babies as three things I love on the outside, but love even more when they go inside?

Trackbacks

  1. […] on Mollytopia, this fantastic post was written about a subject close to my heart…body image. I loved how Molly invited everyone […]

  2. […] read Mollytopia, you should—gosh she’s funny as all heck. This week, she wrote a post called, Make the Game Your Bitch, all about developing her and her daughter’s positive self-image. Well, I played the game with […]

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