A little bit of a throwback comic this week as a recent post on one of the parenting subreddits jogged my memories of having a baby who consistently held down the far end of the growth charts.

I think it’s lovely that, largely, there’s a lot of positivity about chunky babies out there. Chunky babies are healthy!! But any time I’ve heard about someone getting crap from the doctor about their child’s weight being ‘concerning’… in my experience, that child’s been a girl. And that parent’s been a mother. And that’s not an accident.

There’s a heart-wrenching part in the trailer for YOUR FAT FRIEND, the upcoming documentary about Aubrey Gordon and her work in fat activism, where her mother talks about how she felt personally responsible for her daughter’s size. “That’s how it gets passed along,” she says. That really spoke to me, as someone who grew up (like Aubrey did) in a time when mothers everywhere were doing Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, eating low fat, and buying treadmills, soaking us in a background radiation that told us fat bodies were an undesirable outcome – not because they’re villains, obviously, but because generation after generation these expectations get more and more entrenched, and the hurt gets deeper and harder to name. Trying break the chain and raise Momo to be blissfully unaware of the expectations placed on her body while unpacking baggage about my own has been one of the most humbling experiences of being a mother.

We live in a time that is unquestionably fatphobic, and this is particularly levied against women. It starts in the pediatrician’s office, entering the ears of mothers – already primed to pick up this messaging due to generations of their own internalized fatphobia – conflating weight with health and social development and making their children’s weight yet one more thing entrusted to their care. It starts even in pregnancy, when a pregnant person’s body and weight are open for commentary – ‘for the good of the baby.’

I can’t fix this with a comic, but… god, let babies be fat! Let people be fat in peace too, actually, but especially babies. And especially girl babies, even if only to help them stave off these awful expectations just a little bit longer.