Fat Momma Syndrome, or FMS. You will not find this syndrome on any medical list. You will not find its traits or characteristics described anywhere but here. This label is my creation based on years of observations as a youth pastor. Caveat; I am not attempting to criticize any woman’s size. That would be the pot calling the kettle black. I am labeling a parenting temptation.
I believe the syndrome begins long before the teen years, but that is when I saw it reach its peak. I am referring to the teen years of the daughter, not the mother. As she enters her teen years, her mom is entering her mid-late thirties or maybe her early forties. Momma no longer has the youthful figure that she had at 15 or 20 years of age, but she remembers.
Her daughter is beautiful and shapely. Momma is proud of her. Rather than helping her daughter to learn to dress tastefully and modestly, she allows or even encourages her to dress in ways that attract attention to her body. I have many times been shocked at the alluring outfits that mom helped select for her daughter.
I think psychologists might use words such as transference or projection. Others might say mom is living vicariously through her daughter. However it is described, it is sad. It is sad that mom is putting so much emphasis on outward beauty, which she knows changes and does not last. It is sad that mom is passing along to her daughter her own inner struggles with self-image.
My own daughter was more sensible than I in this area. I am proud that she dressed more modestly as a teen than did I as a teen. As an adult, she has my permission to speak to me about my clothing if I wear something unflattering or too aged or too youthful or immodest.
Moms, no matter your size or shape, help your daughters to sail into womanhood with grace and style. Perhaps together you could learn about fashion, styles, body shapes and discovering what looks best on each of you. Teach your daughters to be discriminating and individuals not controlled by fads. Hygiene, personal grooming, make up, and hair care are other areas that need to be taught. Learning to do these well will instill personal confidence, which is very attractive.