Your sweet daughter comes home from school one day crying about how a little boy made fun of her braces, her cowlick or her glasses. Your heart breaks for her and you want to make her feel better. She is absolutely perfect in your eyes and you think she should see herself that way, too.
It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? You’re beautiful just the way you are. These are things we tell our daughters, our nieces and other young ladies whom we influence.
Do we believe our own advice, though?
As women, we are bombarded with society’s view of perfection. We stand in the mirror examining ourselves every day. We focus on a wrinkle here, a bulge there. We let the size of our pants or the numbers on the scale determine our happiness each day.
We complain and complain all the while, we fill our bodies with fast food and empty calories.
Then a special occasion comes and we think, “Uh oh. I’ve got to lose some weight.” So we go on a crash diet or take some celebrity-endorsed weight loss magic pill. After the special event, we go right back to filling our bodies with crappy food never taking a second thought to what the inside of our body looks like.
We must change our mindset. Remember those little girls we tell to focus on their inner beauty?
They’ll get older and they’ll start to see how we view ourselves and how we talk to ourselves. They’ll begin to think that’s how they’re supposed to talk to themselves and view themselves, too.
It’s so important that we get out of the habit of allowing simply our vanity to rule.
A little bit of vanity is fine. It’s important that we take pride in the way we look; the way we present ourselves to the world.
It’s important that our daughters don’t see that we are defined by strictly the way our body looks. They need to know we are defined by how our health makes us feel and how we do our best with what we’ve been given. They need to know that just as they deserve respect from others; they’re body deserves respect from them.
We must teach our daughters that we love ourselves and that because we love ourselves, we want our body’s to be the best they can be—inside and out. By being active, filling our bodies with wholesome nutrition and by speaking highly of ourselves, we can teach our daughters that it’s about loving ourselves, feeling fabulous on the inside, being healthy and that looking great on the outside is an added bonus. We are a complete and amazing package.