Yesterday in a big gross cloud of anger, I posted this status:
My daughter came home from school in tears because a few girls called her fat in her swim suit. She loves swimming, and now she has anxiety over it. We talked about all the amazing things her body can do…run, swim, walk, get her to anywhere in the world she wants to go someday. More importantly, all the wonderful traits that make her who she is. Her wit, creative mind, kind sensitive soul, tender heart who loves others, her brilliant problem-solving brain. I’m still so angry about it, yet my anger isn’t at those girls. I’m angry that our society is so shallow. Girls are “more” if they dress a certain way into a single digit sized clothing. Exercise and eating healthy isn’t actually about health at all, it’s the newest fad diet to fit into those skinny jeans. There’s nothing healthy about that mind-set. It’s the unhealthy pursuit of an external ideal that will never be obtained. I’m angry that because a girl’s body type isn’t the standard of what society deems as “perfect”, that a girl feels shame. As she stood there with tears streaming down her face, I had a flashback to my own childhood in the locker room of the swimming pool. A difference of 30 years, yet the very same tears. So I laid awake last night wondering what I personally can do to break this cycle. All I came up with is to raise my daughter to love others. To love her body for all it can do. And I will remind her every damn day that she is a collection of amazing strengths that has nothing to do with her clothing size. I will be conscious of how my thoughts and actions will positively or negatively impact her self-esteem. And I will be so very proactive to build her up and build up those around me. “All we need is love”….well maybe that’s a bit naive, but what we DO need more of in this world along with love is empathy, understanding, and a lot more depth.
On behalf of my daughter, I received many messages of love, support, and relatable stories as a result. This issue is one we can all relate to, either because we have dealt with it as a parent or because we’ve been shamed by another who ridiculed some aspect of who we are.
When my daughter came home from school, I met her at the door with this little poster and then the kids and I went to jump on trampolines at the indoor trampoline park because nothing is more fun than bouncing into a big pit of foamy things.
After much (too much) thought, I realized something. I’ve repeated the “You are beautiful” mantra to my daughter yet I have an extremely hard time looking into the mirror and thinking that I am beautiful too.
Let me explain…I’ve been thinking about my beauty in an aesthetic sense. I’ve focussed on my outward appearance and I pick apart all the flaws I see on my body. Yet when I think about the beauty of my children, all I see is who they are as a whole. All of them. Their mind, soul, body, every little fibre of their being. I love it all to bits. I think every molecule of their being is beautiful.
Yet I’ve looked at my reflection with shallow eyes. Who I am has nothing to do with the shape of my body.
So today, and in the days ahead, I will look within and open my eyes to see beyond my outer.
How can I expect my daughter to believe she is beautiful if I secretly don’t believe that I am beautiful? I would never say that out loud, but I think it at times. We are what we think. Self-love is as important for us Moms as it is for our children.
I am beautiful. Perfectly imperfect.
And I hope when you look in the mirror today, you see someone who is ridiculously beautiful.
From my heart to yours,
6 thoughts on “I Am Beautiful (and you are too)”
Love your incredible insight, you are beautiful, fun, and I love your positive energy. I am sorry you have to walk this path with your daughter. It’s such a feeling of helplessness isn’t it. Hugs to you and the beautiful miss Tessa xo.
Thank you and I know you can relate to this Melissa. I miss you! Hope you are doing well, we need to catch up soon.
This whole situation hit home to me hard… I lived Tessa’s upset. One thing that I think we as people all need to realize is that friends and family, you know the people who actually matter in life, think we are beautiful as a whole package and not as an exterior appearance. I look at you Christine and I think you are one of the most gorgeous people I know. I honestly could not tell you if you are stunning to a stranger on the street because I can’t seperate myself from the beauty I see in you as a whole package. I have learned a great deal about self acceptance from some friends of mine who are beautiful on the outside and in. I honestly wondered why beautiful slim people would want a fat friend… A couple of these friends have proved to me that they too see me as that whole package. To them I am not the ‘fat friend’, I am Amanda and to them Amanda is beautiful and a great person to be around. Self acceptance is such a hard thing to deal with. Keep up the great work Christine, Tessa is such a lucky girl to have such an incredible person in her life to lean on. She will be and do great things!!
Amanda, there’s so much I want to say after reading your comment. About your wit, charismatic personality, and your beauty! You are beautiful in every way. I thought that the moment I met you, and I admire your talents in photography as well. I hope you realize what an amazing person you are, and just how ridiculously beautiful you are too! Thank you for your supportive words. They mean more than I can tell you. xo
You have this amazing way of looking at the world and saying what we all wish we could articulate.
You are so beautiful.
Elena my friend, I sure do miss you. Thank you for your kind comment. You are sooooo beautiful too! xo