You'd Be So Pretty If...

How to teach your daughter to love her body—even when you don't love your own.

Overheard: Does Size Matter?

Are we more if we're less?

Yesterday, I took my daughter shopping for some new shorts and as I waited for her outside the fitting rooms, a young teenage girl came out wearing one pair of jeans and holding another.

"Well?" said her mom.

"These are a zero," she said. "But they're a little tight in places."

"I think maybe you need to go up to a 1," her mom said.

"No, mom," she said. "I don't want to wear a 1."

"Well," sighed her mom. "As long as you can breathe."

As the girl turned and went back into the dressing room, her mom glanced over at me and shook her head. I just smiled.

That scenario, I think, is one of the trickiest mother-daughter shopping moments there is: When your daughter clearly needs to go up a size, yet telling her that feels -- to her -- like you're saying she's putting on weight.

Of course, at a certain age, girls are supposed to be putting on weight and it's a perfectly normal period of growth.

But they don't always see it that way.

I always encourage moms to make it about the clothes -- because it often is. My daughter knows that different manufacturers cut clothing differently and one's size 1 or 3 might be another's size 5 or 7. If it makes you feel bad to have to go up to a larger size, you can a) not buy that particular brand or b) buy the size you look great in and cut the tag out. Why not?

Find a Therapist

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How about you? Does it make you feel bad if you have to choose a larger size in a particular brand of clothing? 

Does size really matter?

Dara Chadwick is the author of You'd Be So Pretty If… :Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies—Even When We Don't Love Our Own.

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