“Girls” star Zosia Mamet is opening up about how her mom affected her body image

Zosia Mamet from Girls has spoken openly about her struggles with her eating disorder in her long-running column in Glamour magazine before, but now, she’s getting even more personal—by explaining how she got that negative image of her body in the first place.

In the March issue of the magazine, Zosia opens up about her mother, actress Lindsay Crouse, and how a mother can teach a daughter how to love, but also how to hate. “In this day and age, yes, many things contribute to a woman’s body image—but research has shown that a girl’s mother is perhaps the biggest factor,” Zosia wrote. “A girl whose body is criticized by her mother is more likely to dislike her body or engage in disordered eating. If her mother tells her she should eat less, same thing. Furthermore, a girl who sees her mother dieting or obsessing over her own weight is more likely to be unhappy with her body.”

Zosia’s own mother was “always on some sort of diet,” while she was growing up, she explained. “[E]verything I was fed was nonfat or sugar free [sic],” Zosia wrote. “When I was hungry, her first response was, ‘Are you sure?’ I dreaded shopping. My mother would say to me, ‘Zosia, let’s look in the husky section.’”

Zosia grew to be jealous of her mother’s thin dancer body and flat stomach. “I remember as a girl taking baths with her; I would stare down at my pudgy stomach and feel deep pangs of envy,” she wrote. “I prayed I would grow up to have her body.”

However, Zosia highlights that her mother didn’t cause her eating disorder. “As kids we are molded by our parents, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not,” she wrote. “. . . More so, I empathize. I know that my mother’s treatment of me stemmed from her own issues with her body. She struggled, so I struggled. But I did struggle.”

She considered what she would tell her 12-year-old self, and what her 12-year-old self would say back. “I would say, ‘You’re beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It gets better,’” she wrote. “And what if all our mothers had kept it at that? Of course, they were human—so we have to work to forgive our mothers, hope they have forgiven their mothers, and start mothering ourselves, start mothering the broken 12-year-olds inside of us. . . I would tell my younger self she’s beautiful just the way she is. I hope my mom is telling herself the same thing.”

Thank you, Zosia, because as always, your openness has influenced so many girls and women. It’s so essential to constantly focus on self-love, not only for you, but for your future children. Let’s focus on loving our bodies, just the way they are.

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