As a family photographer, I’ve noticed an amazing quality in all children I photograph.
Children think they are awesome as is. I often say to kids during a photography session: “You are amazing” and their reply is almost always the same…”I know”.
As adults, we are often confuse confidence for vanity, but I’ve thought about beauty in a different way lately. When you say to a child: You are beautiful or you are amazing, children interpret that very differently than we adults do. Kids love who they are as a whole, rather than relating that comment to aesthetics. It’s the spirit of the child that shines through. The unbridled ability to play, sing, accept others, run, dress, just as they wish. To Just Be. Children are active because they want to be!
And then somewhere along the way…we lose that ability. We are affected by outside influences that tell us what to wear, what music to like, what size we should be, etc.
Much of this is cultural, based on where we grew up. We are fortunate to live in a country where freedom of speech and religion is a right, but our children don’t know any different, and we can take this amazing gift for granted. We are free to dream.
When we were children, we loved our body for its ability. Arms to play, hands to hold and colour with, a face that carries expression, hair to blow in the breeze on a windy day or to add 17 pony-tails to on crazy hair day at school, feet to cover with sand, and legs to run through water on a hot summer day.
And then we get older and “wiser”. Speaking from personal struggles, there have been times in my life when I wanted to be thinner, stronger, richer, and more confident. I’ve analyzed the times in my life when I was the most confident and I’ve realized that confidence comes from self-acceptance. Just Be. Weed out the outside influences.
Find your inner voice, your own unique sense of style, form your own opinions. My daughter will often come to me and ask if I like the outfit she chose for the day, and I reply “Do you?” because that’s all that matters.
So maybe, just maybe, we could learn a thing or two about self-acceptance through the eyes of a child…
The child who looks at their Mom and tells her she’s the most beautiful woman in the world, even when she first wakes up in the morning sporting sticky-uppy hair and well-worn PJs.
The child who can befriend another in an instance and who accepts an invitation to play if only for a few minutes.
The child who loves who they are as is, appreciates their body for all it can do, greets each day with wonder and gratitude, and is eager to learn and grow.
The child who thinks they are just plain awesome, and who accepts others in the same way.
Let’s wake up that inner-child my friends. Self-acceptance is already within us.
Life is amazing and so are you. Have I told you that lately?!
From my heart to yours,