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Positive Body Image, Body Diversity & Clothes That Fit // with Pam Luk
Episode 488th February 2023 • Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them • Carmelita Tiu
00:00:00 00:26:35

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Body Image is an important topic to me because our relationship with our bodies and our body image is complex, especially for women and girls, and it lasts a lifetime.

The societal challenges to healthy body image don’t stop…and just like any relationship, having a healthy relationship with our bodies typically requires ongoing attention.  

My guest today, Pam Luk, is intimately familiar with how the world can make you feel uncomfortable in your skin, and what we can do about it. She’s passionate about body diversity and empowering kids to have a healthy body image.

Listen to hear:

  • Why Pam started Ember & Ace
  • The importance of clothes and activewear that fits plus sized kids
  • How to talk with kids when they're struggling with their bodies
  • What to add to your social media feeds
  • How we sabotage our efforts to get our kids to believe that all bodies are good bodies
  • Media literacy and how to navigate messaging

About Our Guest, Pam Luk

Pam Luk is the founder of Ember & Ace, an athletic wear brand for plus size kids. Growing up playing sports, Pam learned firsthand the importance of finding active wear that fits. Not finding it is one of the main reasons kids quit sports. Ember & Ace launched their first five-piece essentials collection on February 2nd 2023. Visit emberandace.com to learn more.

To learn more about Pam and her work, connect with her here:


References in this Episode:



About Your Host, Carmelita / Cat / Millie Tiu

Mom, spouse, coach, podcaster, wordsmith, legal eagle.  Endlessly curious about how we can show up better for ourselves – because when we do that, we also show up better for our kids and those around us.  Visit carmelitatiu.com to learn more about Cat, and for info on 1:1 coaching, the mom collective, and her monthly newsletter.


Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them

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Transcripts

Pam Luk:

there's a quote that I, I remember reading and

Pam Luk:

it sort of stuck with me.

Pam Luk:

I think it's Lily Tomlin, um, the actor and comedian.

Pam Luk:

She said, you know, I, I saw a problem one day and I said, somebody

Pam Luk:

should do something about that.

Pam Luk:

And then I realized, I'm someone.

Pam Luk:

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host: Welcome to know them at be them.

Pam Luk:

Raise them a show to help busy, mindful growth oriented moms.

Pam Luk:

Stay informed and inspired.

Pam Luk:

As they navigate their daughter's crucial tween.

Pam Luk:

And teen years, so they can show up for themselves and their

Pam Luk:

daughters the way they want to.

Pam Luk:

I'm your host Carmelita too.

Pam Luk:

And I am grateful.

Pam Luk:

You're here.

Pam Luk:

Remember to follow me.

Pam Luk:

@knowberaisethem on Instagram or Facebook and check out no B raise them.com.

Pam Luk:

I actually just included a tab that includes information about what I've

Pam Luk:

been doing on the coaching side.

Pam Luk:

And there's a link to.

Pam Luk:

Schedule a complimentary 30 minute coaching conversation if you'd like.

Pam Luk:

So if there are things in your life you want to accomplish,

Pam Luk:

whether it's a bucket list goal.

Pam Luk:

Redefining yourself after a life transition.

Pam Luk:

We're getting clear on how to make the impact you want to at work or at home.

Pam Luk:

Let's chat.

Pam Luk:

If nothing else we'll both leave the conversation with a new connection.

Pam Luk:

. So if you've been listening to those podcasts for a while, you

Pam Luk:

know that I've done past episodes on body image and body positivity.

Pam Luk:

With Debbie Serafin, for instance, she's a body relationship coach and Emily Lauren

Pam Luk:

Dick, a body positivity expert and author.

Pam Luk:

I'll link to those in the show notes, or you can go to Noby raise them.com and

Pam Luk:

click on the body image podcast category.

Pam Luk:

The reason I hit on this topic repeatedly.

Pam Luk:

And it's so important.

Pam Luk:

Is because as you know, our relationship with our bodies and our body image, Is

Pam Luk:

complex, especially for women and girls.

Pam Luk:

And it lasts a lifetime.

Pam Luk:

The societal challenges to healthy body image.

Pam Luk:

Don't stop.

Pam Luk:

And just like any relationship, really having a healthy relationship

Pam Luk:

with our bodies typically requires ongoing attention.

Pam Luk:

My guest today pam luck is familiar with how the world can make you feel

Pam Luk:

uncomfortable in your skin and what we can do about it . She's passionate

Pam Luk:

about body diversity and empowering kids to have a healthy body image.

Pam Luk:

She's also the founder of Ember and ACE and athletic

Pam Luk:

wear brand for plus sized kids.

Pam Luk:

She grew up playing sports and learned firsthand the importance

Pam Luk:

of finding active wear that fits.

Pam Luk:

Not finding it is actually one of the main reasons kids quit sports.

Pam Luk:

Amber and AEs launched their first five-piece essentials

Pam Luk:

collection on February 2nd, 2023.

Pam Luk:

Here's our conversation welcome Pam.

Pam Luk:

I'm super excited to chat with you about what you do and Ember and Ace and

Pam Luk:

let's, let's, I guess just jump into it.

Pam Luk:

Sure thing.

Pam Luk:

Well, I'll be very formal and introduce myself and say, hi, I'm Pam Luck.

Pam Luk:

I'm the founder of Ember and Ace which is, an athletic wear brand

Pam Luk:

exclusively for plus size kids and.

Pam Luk:

My story is really what led me to start Ember & Ace.

Pam Luk:

I have been plus sized my entire life and I played soccer and I danced as a teenager

Pam Luk:

and I struggled to find soccer clothing.

Pam Luk:

I was a goalkeeper, so a goalie shirt and pants that fit me.

Pam Luk:

I remember in high school having to shop in the men's department to try

Pam Luk:

and find something that would fit, which is not fun when you're 17, fyi.

Pam Luk:

And for dance, you know, struggling to find leotards.

Pam Luk:

And so I have a daughter, a teenage daughter, and she loves dance and

Pam Luk:

we're struggling to find leotards.

Pam Luk:

And so I'm like, it's been 30 years since I danced and it's still a problem.

Pam Luk:

Why is this still a problem?

Pam Luk:

You know, keeping kids involved in activities that they love is something

Pam Luk:

that really matters to me as a parent.

Pam Luk:

And I'm, so, I'm like, I can help solve this.

Pam Luk:

This is a problem that I understand.

Pam Luk:

It's a problem that I'm passionate about.

Pam Luk:

This is a group of kids that I used to be, I, I was a plus size kid, so I

Pam Luk:

said, I can partner with the right kind of folks to help me make this happen.

Pam Luk:

And so I just decided, and it was time, let's, let's solve this

Pam Luk:

problem because it's so solv.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

I love that you saw the problem and took

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

that additional step of making yourself part of the solution.

Pam Luk:

Yeah, there's a quote that I, I remember reading

Pam Luk:

and it sort of stuck with me.

Pam Luk:

I think it's Lily Tomlin, um, the actor and comedian.

Pam Luk:

She said, you know, I, I saw a problem one day and I said, somebody

Pam Luk:

should do something about that.

Pam Luk:

And then I realized, I'm someone.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Hmm.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

That just gives me little goosebumps.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Um, so I'd love to know your thoughts on why it's important

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

for kids to have clothes that fit.

Pam Luk:

Yeah.

Pam Luk:

Well, I think any of us can relate to not having clothing that fits you well, right.

Pam Luk:

As you, maybe as your body has changed and sort of how you feel.

Pam Luk:

But, you know, I think for me it's one of the reasons kids leave

Pam Luk:

the activities that they love.

Pam Luk:

There was a, a qualitative study that was done in the UK and just they asked a

Pam Luk:

bunch of kids and they said, look, the, the uniform doesn't fit and the shirt

Pam Luk:

rides up and I'm worried that my belly's gonna show like I want no part of it.

Pam Luk:

They want no part of it.

Pam Luk:

And so, A lot of times, and you know how teenagers can be, they

Pam Luk:

don't wanna talk to their parents.

Pam Luk:

So like all of a sudden they're not interested right in that sport anymore.

Pam Luk:

They're not interested in dance and you try to get an answer.

Pam Luk:

But for a lot of these kids, they'll just quit the things that if the

Pam Luk:

uniforms don't fit, they'll just quit.

Pam Luk:

And you know, I remember how much.

Pam Luk:

. I love dance, and I remember how much I, being a part of the

Pam Luk:

team for the soccer team, that's where all my friends were, right?

Pam Luk:

When we used to go to away games and you to ride on the bus and all of

Pam Luk:

the, I feel like, oh, there's a lot of connection, particularly in your

Pam Luk:

teenage years for doing things like karate or dance or soccer or basketball,

Pam Luk:

and even in the summertime, right?

Pam Luk:

Doing summer recreational programs so these kids don't get to be part of.

Pam Luk:

And so they're losing out on these opportunities to be members of a

Pam Luk:

team, to be in community with their kids, and just all the benefits

Pam Luk:

of physical activity, right?

Pam Luk:

The mental health benefits, improving your sleep, just all of the good

Pam Luk:

things that come from moving your body.

Pam Luk:

And now because they can't find these clothes, they just can't participate.

Pam Luk:

And I think I remember very distinctly feeling like this isn't a place for.

Pam Luk:

If this was a place for me, they would have clothing that fit me.

Pam Luk:

And so it, you start to feel like you don't belong in those spaces and

Pam Luk:

that can be a really tough message.

Pam Luk:

Particularly you can carry that into adulthood where

Pam Luk:

these places aren't for you.

Pam Luk:

And so I think it's really important.

Pam Luk:

We have to make it clear that these activities are for you and you do belong

Pam Luk:

in these spaces as young as possible.

Pam Luk:

And for a lot of kids, they're outgrowing clothing when puberty

Pam Luk:

sort of hits junior high, right?

Pam Luk:

So to me, it's really important that we try to catch this as early as possible

Pam Luk:

and say, you do belong here and it's okay for you to be in these places and,

Pam Luk:

and to do these things that you love.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

That is so true about the importance of, of

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

addressing it at a younger age too.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Cuz you think about all the lessons that you start to internalize just because

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

you repeatedly are exposed to them.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Whether it's witnessing your parents volunteering, like once you see it over

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

and over, it becomes ingrained as part of an identity that you can assume or

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

you can kind of own as like an extension of your family values and who you are.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

And to your point, if you're repeatedly seeing, that clothes

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

don't fit you, then absolutely.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

I can see how that can become, um, like a negative thought that just

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

starts coming back over and over and, and could even I would imagine, affect

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

kids to where it, it could extend even beyond a particular activity, but not

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

just, I don't belong in this activity, but I don't belong in this space.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

I don't know if I belong in this class, in this world.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

You know?

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

And the, that negative spiral of, um, feeling excluded could be potentially

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

really painful, I would think.

Pam Luk:

Yeah, for sure.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Well, having been through a lot of these experiences

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

yourself and now in the stages of iterating a product for, plus size kids,

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

what, what would you say are some tips for parents that, that have kids who

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

feel uncomfortable in their bodies?

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Like are there things that, we could say, or potentially things we should do?

Pam Luk:

Sure.

Pam Luk:

Um, I will say definitely start with making sure that they have clothing

Pam Luk:

that fits and I, I mean that, you know, sometimes you feel uncomfortable

Pam Luk:

in your body because maybe you've grown from spring to fall, right?

Pam Luk:

And so you're trying on some of the things that used to work and they don't feel

Pam Luk:

comfortable anymore, and so sometimes you, you have to realize the problem

Pam Luk:

isn't your body, it's the clothing.

Pam Luk:

So trying to address and get a few pieces, and I know it's tough, kids grow

Pam Luk:

so fast, but having a few pieces that fit really well that they feel confident

Pam Luk:

and comfortable in, So really, and some kids are great about saying, Hey,

Pam Luk:

these don't fit really well anymore.

Pam Luk:

They don't work for my body anymore, and some kids don't.

Pam Luk:

So trying to just tune in and, and check on things like that.

Pam Luk:

But I would also say first and for.

Pam Luk:

Don't panic that you're gonna get it wrong.

Pam Luk:

It's okay to sort of fumble through it a little bit, but always start,

Pam Luk:

I think, by just acknowledging sort of what they're saying.

Pam Luk:

I think there's always this rush to be like, no, you're okay.

Pam Luk:

It's okay.

Pam Luk:

And you move right past.

Pam Luk:

Maybe the emotional, like, let's just work through how this feels for you, um,

Pam Luk:

and try to get a handle on, I understand that you're struggling, I'm struggling

Pam Luk:

with, with your body and some of the changes and how you feel in your body

Pam Luk:

and maybe how it looks relative to some of the other kids in your class.

Pam Luk:

And sort of just trying to ask questions I think is also a big piece of this.

Pam Luk:

Trying to not put words in their mouth per se, but sort of tease out a

Pam Luk:

little bit, sort of what's going on.

Pam Luk:

Um, and try to listen more than talk.

Pam Luk:

And I know it's hard.

Pam Luk:

I I have a teenager.

Pam Luk:

Single word answers.

Pam Luk:

Yes, I understand.

Pam Luk:

But I think sometimes what ends up happening in my house is I'll raise

Pam Luk:

something, we'll talk about something.

Pam Luk:

It'll be a really brief conversation because what she's doing is sort of

Pam Luk:

marinating and working through that.

Pam Luk:

And so that same conversation will come back around.

Pam Luk:

So I guess that's the other piece.

Pam Luk:

Don't feel like you have to get it all handled in a single talk.

Pam Luk:

And this is also gonna be something, um, that comes.

Pam Luk:

a lot as bodies just continue to change for your entire life and through the

Pam Luk:

rest of your junior high and high school.

Pam Luk:

Um, and I would also say let's, yes, we can talk about the things that

Pam Luk:

are challenging, but let's also talk about like what are you excited about?

Pam Luk:

What makes you feel strong in your body?

Pam Luk:

What makes you feel good in your body?

Pam Luk:

And can we find a way to maybe bring more of.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

mm.

Pam Luk:

would say the same for me if I'm struggling with something like, what can

Pam Luk:

I do that makes me feel strong or makes me feel grounded or makes me feel good?

Pam Luk:

And let's try to do some of that in sort of, yes, absolutely working through some

Pam Luk:

of the tough feelings about maybe what's going on, but also let's talk about the

Pam Luk:

things that my body does really well.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Yes.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Yeah.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

And, and I love that it's, it's focused on kind of the doing of it.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Um, I had an interview with a, um, she runs a, a group called

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Body Confident Moms in Australia.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

in any event.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

she really emphasizes when you're dealing with tweens and teens and there's that

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

dip in confidence inevitably, especially for girls, to really look at your body as

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

as a tool and not as an ornament.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

So exactly what you were saying, looking at what, what am I really excited about,

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

what my body can do, how, what can my body do that makes me feel proud?

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

you know, removing your value from, the looks can be really, really empowering.

Pam Luk:

and I, I think an another piece of the puzzle that's sort of

Pam Luk:

along that line is, Social media.

Pam Luk:

I mean, I know we all have a lot of good and bad feelings about social media,

Pam Luk:

particularly when it comes to our kids, but I think we can find a way, again,

Pam Luk:

to try and pull out some of the positive components of having social media access.

Pam Luk:

And one of those things is try to diversify the kinds of

Pam Luk:

bodies you see in your feed.

Pam Luk:

There are a ton of plus size athletes that do basically every single

Pam Luk:

sport you can possibly think of.

Pam Luk:

I follow surfers, bikers, hikers, dancers, marathon runners, I mean the

Pam Luk:

list basketball players, , the, the list goes on and on, and so, You can

Pam Luk:

find people that have bigger bodies and that do the kinds of activities maybe

Pam Luk:

that you enjoy, and seeing people being successful and having fun and getting

Pam Luk:

out and doing the things that they love.

Pam Luk:

So I feel like to see your body is sort of this tool to, to do these things,

Pam Luk:

it helps you to see others doing these things, and particularly others in bodies

Pam Luk:

that look more like yours than maybe what you would traditionally see in most media

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Hmm.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

I could not agree more that the absence of representation can really skew

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

someone's understanding of what's possible and what's healthy and what's normal.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Like I, I was a kid in the eighties and, and there was a very specific

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

type of model you saw in advertisements and catalogs, and I'm so grateful

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

that we've evolved somewhat.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Um, but obviously there's room for more growth and hence em Reneece.

Pam Luk:

Yeah, and I would say the one final thing I want folks to sort of

Pam Luk:

try to take away as they're thinking about conversations and things that

Pam Luk:

they have with their kids about bodies and modeling the kinds of behavior.

Pam Luk:

This goes back to what you were talking about, right?

Pam Luk:

About what your kids see you doing and saying, we all as adults have

Pam Luk:

to stop talking about individual bodies, including our own,

Pam Luk:

particularly in a negative way.

Pam Luk:

And I think.

Pam Luk:

That's tough for a lot of people, but I think it's a really good place to start

Pam Luk:

is to try and really catch yourself you're making just a off the cuff remark,

Pam Luk:

right , and so how are you talking about your own body in front of your children?

Pam Luk:

How are you talking about other bodies', celebrities?

Pam Luk:

People at your high school reunion coworkers, right?

Pam Luk:

How are you talking about their bodies?

Pam Luk:

And your kids are sort of hearing all that.

Pam Luk:

And, and so if in one breath you're saying all bodies are good bodies and they do

Pam Luk:

amazing things, but then they hear you talking about, Ugh, I put on 15 pounds.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

right?

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Yeah.

Pam Luk:

It's sort of unravels, right?

Pam Luk:

They're hearing . That's a very two different messages.

Pam Luk:

So which one is it?

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Mm-hmm.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

. Mm-hmm.

Pam Luk:

So I know it's hard, and particularly we in the United States are

Pam Luk:

bombarded and surrounded by diet culture.

Pam Luk:

It's billion dollar industry.

Pam Luk:

But that's a small step.

Pam Luk:

If folks are like, okay, that's, I'm trying.

Pam Luk:

Tell me how, what's one thing I can do?

Pam Luk:

And one thing you can do is be mindful about how you talk about your own body

Pam Luk:

in front of your, in front of your kids.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Hmm.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

You know, it's funny, I, what you said just brought up for me this

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

idea that somewhere along the way in, in parenting daughters and

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

them, I, learned that we shouldn.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Comment on how pretty a girl is or the, you know, because they might think that

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

that's the primary source of value and then become, you know, obsessed with that.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

I do have to say though that I've recently started to question that

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

and kind of, challenge it a little bit when you have girls as daughters

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

or there are girls in your sphere of influence that do not fit a standard

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

of beauty that diet culture embraces.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

um, or not even diet culture, but I'd say mainstream media

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

hasn't been as quick to embrace.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

So whether it's, you know, different physical abilities or different sizes

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

or, um, skin tones, I, I kind of feel like if you're dealing with kids that

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

are outside of, this western ideal of beauty then have at it, like compliment

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

them left and right because they're not gonna get it from the outside world

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

or from the media for the most part.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Maybe things change, but you know, the, the messaging so far outweighs

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

to the, to the negative in a way.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

that hearing some positive reinforcement from you that they're okay and their

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

body is beautiful to me, feels.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

. It feels like they need that.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Otherwise, the only input they're getting is that they don't see anyone like

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

them in this setting or that setting.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

that just came up for me relatively recently, but how do you feel about that?

Pam Luk:

I think as an, there is no, there's no black and white here.

Pam Luk:

It's always gonna be, I think it's like in all things parenting, right?

Pam Luk:

when are there times when that needs to come up?

Pam Luk:

And then when are there times when you're also focused on other things?

Pam Luk:

And I think the flip side of that coin is also, Starting as kids get older to start

Pam Luk:

to understand who benefits from making you feel poorly about what you look like,

Pam Luk:

who benefits from feeding you a certain story about eye shape or skin color or

Pam Luk:

body size, who benefits from those things.

Pam Luk:

And then sort of talking about the messaging that we're getting, and so

Pam Luk:

not seeing those things as truth, but understanding what the message is that

Pam Luk:

they're sort of receiving and also, so they're defining beauty one way.

Pam Luk:

Why would they wanna do that?

Pam Luk:

What are they trying to.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Mm-hmm.

Pam Luk:

What's the benefit they're looking for, but also how do you

Pam Luk:

see, and then asking, asking your own child what's beautiful to you.

Pam Luk:

What, what do you see as beautiful?

Pam Luk:

What, you know what I mean?

Pam Luk:

So trying to even just, yes, and it, I would say yes.

Pam Luk:

I think it can be challenging to not hear that your body is beautiful,

Pam Luk:

particularly if you struggle with your size, but also trying to just

Pam Luk:

broaden and talk about other things and beauty in a different way, I guess as

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Hmm.

Pam Luk:

at the same.

Pam Luk:

Um, because I do think to your point, particularly girls, so much value is

Pam Luk:

tied into physical aesthetic and just all the things that to some degree you don't

Pam Luk:

have a tremendous amount of control over.

Pam Luk:

And that's gonna obviously change over time.

Pam Luk:

Right?

Pam Luk:

As you age suddenly your value diminishes what is happening?

Pam Luk:

I don't know.

Pam Luk:

No, that's not, that is not the case.

Pam Luk:

So

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Right.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

you know, something that, I noticed when you talk about Ember and Ace

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

and , the population that it serves, you use the term plus size kids

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I'm curious what your thoughts are on that and you know, are

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there nuances we should consider?

Pam Luk:

I think there are, I will start by saying I have reclaimed

Pam Luk:

the word fat, so I do invite people to use the word fat to describe me

Pam Luk:

when you're talking about my body.

Pam Luk:

Because there is a, an effort to sort of take that word and actually use it

Pam Luk:

in a way that it was intended to be used, which is a descriptor of a body

Pam Luk:

that has more fat than another, right?

Pam Luk:

You have a thin body that has less fat, you have a fat body that has more fat, and

Pam Luk:

sort of, that's where the definition ends.

Pam Luk:

And I think, the challenge is around, there is still, there

Pam Luk:

are those two things I would say.

Pam Luk:

First that word is still used and has historically been used to try

Pam Luk:

and harm people in bigger bodies.

Pam Luk:

Um, and they do that by attaching other attributes.

Pam Luk:

Other fat didn't just mean bigger body, it means lazy.

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Hmm.

Pam Luk:

uneducated because obviously if you were smart and not lazy

Pam Luk:

right, you wouldn't be fat anymore.

Pam Luk:

So they've, all these other things have been sort of wrapped up in that word and

Pam Luk:

used to try and inflict harm on people.

Pam Luk:

And so I think for a lot of people that are fat, it's very difficult

Pam Luk:

still to sort of hear that word.

Pam Luk:

And there are still people that use it in that way to inflict harm.

Pam Luk:

And so there are folks that don't use it, and I completely understand that.

Pam Luk:

And.

Pam Luk:

of my reason behind choosing to do plus size kids as the term that I

Pam Luk:

use for these kids was because I feel like it's a word that you have to make

Pam Luk:

a choice for yourself to use and to then share with others that they're

Pam Luk:

allowed to use it with you as well.

Pam Luk:

But it starts with you making that choice for yourself.

Pam Luk:

And I didn't wanna sort of force that word onto these kids who are

Pam Luk:

already sort of struggling during a difficult time to sort of navigate all

Pam Luk:

the things going on with their body.

Pam Luk:

And I will say this, I do know that a lot of parents, particularly with

Pam Luk:

younger children, are talking about fat and thin in that very like the way we

Pam Luk:

wanna be using it, right as a descriptor.

Pam Luk:

And that's where we start moving the needle, right?

Pam Luk:

And starting to make a change.

Pam Luk:

And I think the, they're just, it's again, a yes and yes, do that,

Pam Luk:

but also say people use that word to try and hurt people, and some

Pam Luk:

people are not comfortable with it.

Pam Luk:

So, you know, just being mindful of the conversations that you're

Pam Luk:

having and how you're using that word

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Yeah.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Hmm.

Pam Luk:

And I would say there are some people that also don't wanna call

Pam Luk:

out plus sizes being different from, you know, standard size or thin kids.

Pam Luk:

But part of why I think it's important is because these kids

Pam Luk:

can't find clothing, right?

Pam Luk:

, I need folks to be able to find the clothes that are gonna fit their kids.

Pam Luk:

So that's part of, you know, there are brands that are working toward

Pam Luk:

it and maybe that's something we can, you know, hope for, for the future.

Pam Luk:

But until that day comes, I want these kids to know that I'm here

Pam Luk:

to serve you and I am making things specifically for your body.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

I love that.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Yeah.

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And, you've put a lot of thought into how you can best serve your audience and,

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and so the choice of terminology, um, I really respect how you approach that.

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It makes a lot of sense to me.

Pam Luk:

Thank you.

Pam Luk:

There's a little teenager inside of me that's sort of running

Pam Luk:

that whole making process.

Pam Luk:

I think, you know, and that's where, you know, this being something

Pam Luk:

that's so close to my heart because of my daughter, but also because

Pam Luk:

I grew up as one of these kids.

Pam Luk:

I understand to some degree, and it's not that it's the same experience for

Pam Luk:

everyone, but I think there's common themes that, you know, come up for just

Pam Luk:

the things that we all want for our kids

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Yeah.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Oh, as we wrap up, I was wondering if you'd like to leave the audience

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

with a parting quote or, or thought.

Pam Luk:

I have a quote that I use that I try to put on my website and

Pam Luk:

on my social media, and that is this.

Pam Luk:

An athlete isn't defined by their size, and you can be a runner.

Pam Luk:

A biker, a biker a dancer.

Pam Luk:

You can be all these things regardless of size.

Pam Luk:

So I think it's important that people start to hear that and internalize it.

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Oh, I just got the chills because that was never

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a message that I heard growing up, And so I am, I'm happy to support that

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message through this platform as well.

Pam Luk:

I appreciate it and thank you so much for letting me come

Pam Luk:

and talk about this and I hope you know if folks have questions.

Pam Luk:

. You know, please let me know, but I, I'm hopeful that they'll think about

Pam Luk:

what they've heard today, even if it's not something that they've necessarily

Pam Luk:

given a lot of thought to, or if it's, they've had different ideas

Pam Luk:

about bigger bodies and people that are plus sized, but I'm hopeful that

Pam Luk:

they'll just sort of take it all in.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

I have to admit one of my favorite

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things about interviewing guests is when I'm forced to confront my

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own biases and areas for growth.

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I never thought about the ripple effect of not having athletic clothes that fit.

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How that messages to kids and adults.

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That this activity isn't for you.

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This was a sobering reminder of how bias and privilege work, where I

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didn't even really see how structures might exclude others because they

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didn't create friction for me.

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Any who.

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It makes me want to try and see better to have fewer blind spots

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so I can be more inclusive.

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So here are today's key takeaways from my conversation with Pam.

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Number one.

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As early as possible, we have to make spaces and activities for

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kids as inclusive as possible.

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By giving kids and teens access to active wear that fits them.

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We're telling them that they belong.

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It's okay for them to be in these places.

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And you.

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You can do these things that you love.

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Number two, help your daughters find clothes that fit.

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If they don't feel comfortable in clothes.

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They may think it's a problem with their bodies when it's actually fixable by

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getting them better fitting clothing.

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Side note.

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I had to check myself a couple of years ago.

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When my daughter was asking for new pants again and saying she

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didn't like the clothes I bought her three to four months earlier.

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My knee jerk reaction was to think that she was being fickle and was

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

falling prey to a consumerism.

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But when she tried her pants on, they were short and the waist was really tight.

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So, yeah.

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Um, that was a lesson to me to be open to dialogue.

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Don't assume, you know what's going on.

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Um, especially when thinking about clothing and your girls

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and what works best for them.

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Number three, listen to your daughter when she's grappling with her body image.

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Remind her that even if she's struggling with a growing or changing body,

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It's still a good and valuable body.

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Ask her.

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What makes you feel strong in your body?

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What makes you feel good in your body?

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Encourage her to.

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To think of her body as a tool, not an ornament.

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Number four.

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Diversify the kinds of bodies you see in your social media feeds,

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there are different accounts that feature bodies of all sizes.

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So challenge your own unconscious biases by.

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Widening your lens.

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Number five, stop talking about how individual bodies look including your own.

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Catch yourself.

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If you're making comments.

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And number six.

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Encourage your kids to be media literate.

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When you see advertising.

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I help them question.

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Who's benefiting from this.

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What message are they sending?

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What are they trying to accomplish?

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Media literacy, encourages critical thinking.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

It helps kids see how media affects our culture and it teaches them how not to

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

be swayed by persuasive techniques that advertising and influencers might use.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

To learn more about Ember and ACE and their athletic wear for plus sized kids.

Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Visit Ember and ace.com.

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That's E M B E R a N D a C e.com.

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The five-piece essential.

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His collection is available now.

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Thanks so much for listening and if you haven't done so already follow

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on your favorite podcasting platform.

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Tell a friend about the show and leave a review.

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Also visit knowberaisethem.com.

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And follow me on Instagram @knowberaisethem.

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I hope you have a wonderful week and here's to strong women.

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May we know them?

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May we be them?

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