Big Girl by Danielle Steel

I finished the book I started a while ago. I couldn’t find the time to actually sit down and pay attention between Beanie, E, work, and studying for my class and tests for work. But I finally finished it.

I was infuriated by the very end.

I can’t say I relate with any part of this book other than having the classic “second child syndrome” and feeling like my sister was the favorite. There might be some truth to this seeing as I was an absolute hellion growing up. But in this case, it was the first born that was treated like shit because she was different. No, not because she was different, because she was fat. Plain and simple, because she was chunkier than the rest of her family, she had to endure teasing from her father, being ignored by her mother, having her sister become a model and marry an asshole just like her father, and, at her sister’s wedding in the end of the book, her mother says to her “don’t worry about catching the bouquet, you won’t be needing it”. This girl spent most of the book on some diet or going to the gym, stressing and obsessing about her next visit home because she knew her father would find fault with her appearance. No amount of weight loss was noticed. Instead the focus would be shifted. Nothing was ever good enough. Finally she found someone who loved her for her, for who she was and what she looked like. Someone who saw through the appearance to her soul and fell in love with her. Of course, her parents absolutely couldn’t believe that he could love someone of her size. This poor girl had no love for herself and she was just looking for love. She just wanted to be accepted for what and who she is.

Are you kidding me?

I know this is fiction. I get that it’s fake but what the hell kind of book is this? Danielle Steel is one of my most favorite writers. I fell in love with her for her romance novels because the characters in her book love so hard, it’s easy to get lost in the “smut” and it flows. Jewels is my all-time most favorite book. I have both the paper copy and e-copy and I still read it once or twice a year.

But this book? Why, Danielle? Why?

When I found out I was having a daughter, I was absolutely terrified. Growing up, I was always this skinny, nobby-kneed child that could eat anything she wanted and stay thin and tan. Then I legitimately prayed for boobs and an ass and, POOF! 10th grade hit and I got both. With vengeance. Then came the body image issues. Worrying if my boyfriend thought I was too fat. Wondering if he only wanted to be with me because I had big boobs. Worrying that the size 10 in my jeans would make people make fun of me.

These issues continued and when I left for Basic Training, I was thrilled to lose 23 lbs. I was toned and in shape. But then came the horrid shipboard food and I stopped working out and I gained weight back. A lot of weight. Then came the struggle of losing and gaining. My weight was used against me at one unit and I was put on the weight program. I fought my ass off (no pun intended) and I got down to the weight the CG thought I should be.

Then I got pregnant.

I said, Fuck it, I’m doing what I need to to grow a healthy baby. I gained 40 lbs and now I’m fighting to get the weight off.

A friend of mine presented me with this article

I work so hard, every single day, to tell my daughter how beautiful she is. To tell her that she is an amazing person and she can achieve anything she wants to. It kills me to know that she might, one day, ever question herself and think that she isn’t good enough. This is one thing dads often don’t understand. I was talking to E the other night and we were discussing this very topic. He said “we’ll just have to tell her and teach her”. I told him “think of the girls you’ve slept with. Why did you sleep with them?”

Now, this is a topic we’ve discussed before, we’re married. We know pretty much everything there is to know about one another so I was comfortable asking this question.

His reply “because I wanted to have sex” and then I asked “and why did they sleep with you?”

He didn’t quite understand that they quite possibly slept with him because they wanted to be loved.

High school aged girls, these days, often think they need to be sexual to be loved and accepted. The “sexting”, sending nude pics of themselves to boys, engaging in acts that they definitely shouldn’t be engaging in. They just want to be loved and they think this is the way to do it.

I will work my ass off to see that my daughter isn’t one of those girls.

I want my daughter to know that not only is she special to E and I, but that she deserves the world and if someone isn’t willing to give that to her without strings attached, then they aren’t good enough for her. I pray that I don’t pass my body image issues down to her and make her because conscious of how hard I work to keep the weight off. Obviously I won’t allow her to become a couch potato and eat cheetos all day long but I hope, when the time comes, I can find a happy medium and help her along the way so that she knows she is loved and she can love herself.

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