Let's face it. Society doesn't cater to loving yourself. Companies make money off of the fact that you aren't comfortable in your own skin. Magazines, Instagram, TV, celebrities all flaunt ways to make yourself more beautiful, skinnier, smarter, flirtier. They're showing young, impressionable girls that unless they look a certain way, act a certain way, that they won't get the guy. The job. The accolades.
That's not what I want my daughters to believe. Layla (11) and Emma (3) are both beautiful, quirky, smart girls. (I could be biased, but whatever). They are both blonde, blue-eyed and tall. Layla is interested in math and science and there is no way I would discourage her from either of those. Emma believes she's a princess, and for now we’ll let that fairy-tale go on.
I had horrible self-esteem growing up. I was the nerdy, awkward girl, with buck-teeth and flat hair. I was also very, very shy so that didn't help matters. Through out school I was teased, and it put a dent in who I believed I was. I'm lucky now to be married to a man who shows me everyday that I am amazing and should love myself for it. I'm still bad about saying that I'm fat, ugly, stupid, or not good enough because that’s what society has taught me to believe. I say these things out loud without thinking about it, and both my girls hear it.
So far, Emma hasn't picked up on it, but Layla has and she's at such an impressionable age. I want her to know inside without a doubt how beautiful she is. How smart, kind, and amazing.
I've realized that if I want her to know this, I have to change the way I am. I have to teach her by example, because no matter what I say, what I do is going to make the bigger impact. It's my job as a mother to teach her that she can be herself, and still be amazing. That loving herself for who she is will give her a happy, fulfilling life.