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'She looked just like me': How this mom learned to love her body

The author of the empowering book, "Fat Girl Walking" visited TODAY to share how her daughter helped her love her body.
/ Source: TODAY

As the author of the provocative book, "Fat Girl Walking," Brittany Gibbons is on a mission to encourage women around the world to love their body shape. The author, Internet personality, and mother of three joined TODAY Tuesday to talk about her worldwide effort.

But her most recent mission is a bit closer to home.

She may have discussed stripping down onstage in front of of 700 men during a TED Talk and dealing with nauseating hate mail, too, but the most radical and extraordinary thing she said she's ever done has simply been teaching her daughter to love herself.

"You know, I had two boys first," she told Kathie Lee. "And then when I had my daughter, she looked just like me. Spitting image. Every day, I was like, 'You're gorgeous, you're beautiful.'"

But her words and actions started to feel incongruous. She'd compliment her daughter, then "go home and tear myself apart in front of the mirror every morning and every night."

The TODAY Show, NBC News

Still, it took a while for Gibbons to connect the dots and acknowledge the confusing world she'd created for her little girl. That horrifying realization came only when her daughter began to mimic a few of her fat-shaming behaviors, such as poking and prodding her own stomach in the mirror and "sucking in" to appear slimmer.

Gibbons was saddened and shocked, and she knew it was time to change her nitpicking ways. "I was putting on a terrifying one-woman show of body hate for an audience of one."

In her new book, Gibbons tells the story of her journey to self-love with humor and laughs.

And as for those cruel commentators on the web?

The author told Kathie Lee that she has no time for haters — particularly the cowardly, anonymous sort that populate much of the Internet.

"I realized really quickly that paying attention to those people was a disservice for every woman that I was helping," she concluded.