How A Toddler Got Her Nervous Mum To Wear A Bikini

A simple moment in a department store reminded one mum of how important modelling body confidence is for our children. When Shelby Goodrich Eckard's three-year-old daughter wanted a new bikini for her swim lessons, the mum was more than happy to help her pick one out, ScaryMommy reports. But she hesitated when the little girl told her that it was her turn to buy a new bikini.
"A knot in my stomach, I told her, 'oh mommy can't wear a bikini to swim class, boo,'" Goodrich Eckard wrote in an Instagram post. "She looked up from the cart and asked, 'but why?'. . . Why? Seriously though, why couldn't I? I could. I just felt uncomfortable. Observed. Exposed. A bit like I'd embarrass her. But all of those sounded selfish in the moment, so I said, 'you know what? You're right. Let's get mommy a bikini.'"
Advertisement
If the pictures are any indication, Goodrich Eckard loves her new bikini. She says in the post that she and her daughter "rushed home," put on their bikinis, and were "excited about how we'd be mermaids tomorrow."

|| Yea, I'm gonna rock it || in honor of @nonairbrushedme #ALWAYSABEACHBODY My daughter starts swim lessons tomorrow. And, I hate to admit this, but she should have started two years ago. But my fear of getting in a pool, in front of others, who knew me, in a bathing suit won. . . I'm actively trying to be brave and get over stupid freaking anxiety issues. I know damn well she, at 3, cares more about playing with glitter and dolls and in the mud with her brother than what her mom wears. . . But she's smart. She is watching me. She's a little spitfire. She says what she thinks. She is brave and bold and stands up for herself. She tells me all the time how pretty she is and how strong she is. And I want to be like her. . . So today, as we talked about swim class tomorrow, she said " I want a bikini." And off we went to Target. She picked hers out, all on her own. Then she said, " your turn." . . A knot in my stomach, I told her, "oh mommy can't wear a bikini to swim class, boo." She looked up from the cart and asked, "but why?" . . Why? Seriously though, why couldn't I? I could. I just felt uncomfortable. Observed. Exposed. A bit like I'd embarrass her. But all of those sounded selfish in the moment, so I said, " you know what? You're right. Let's get mommy a bikini." . . Because she is learning, every day, from me just how to view her OWN body. I don't want to teach her to put limitations on what clothes she can wear or to worry about what others will think. I certainly want her to see her body as unique and wonderful and to be kind to it. I want her to always stay the brave, bold blonde little girl who knows exactly what she wants and exactly how beautiful and strong she is. The same little girl I used to be, before life and society taught me I shouldn't be. . . So we bought bikinis. We rushed home, we played and spent the afternoon excited about how we'd be mermaids tomorrow. And we tried on our bikinis. Like the brave, bold beautiful blondes we are. #mypcosbody ( reshare in honor of #alwaysabeachbody)

A post shared by PCOS Support girl™ (@pcos_support_girl) on

While it could have been a throw-away moment between a mother and daughter, Goodrich Eckard — who has a presence in the body positive movement as a support system for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) — sees it as another reminder of the importance of positive body image.
As a woman with PCOS, a condition that often causes weight gain as well as excess hair and oily, acne-prone skin, Goodrich Eckard slowly realised that rather than obsessing over her weight, she should love her body as is.
"It was a series of moments when I realised I have to break the cycle of hating my body — for myself and my sanity — but more so for my daughter," she tells Refinery29. She's been a size 6 and she's been a size 26, and has hated her body at every size. She doesn't want her daughter to go through that as well, and realises that the small moments like the one they had in the swimsuit section can influence how a young girl views her body.
"She is learning, every day, from me just how to view her OWN body," she wrote. "I don't want to teach her to put limitations on what clothes she can wear or to worry about what others will think. I certainly want her to see her body as unique and wonderful and to be kind to it. I want her to always stay the brave, bold blonde little girl who knows exactly what she wants and exactly how beautiful and strong she is. The same little girl I used to be, before life and society taught me I shouldn't be."
Advertisement
Read these stories next: