I came across this article yesterday and word for word it expressed the thoughts I have had over the years of seeing beauty and self-esteem campaigns. I urge you all to read it! Finding out that I am going to be having a daughter has brought all the insecurities I have had as a woman come to the forefront of my mind. It breaks my heart knowing that my daughter will have to face the societal and cultural pressures that have been placed on all of us. But we can't avoid the world, and with that said, I know that as her mother I will do everything in my power to make sure she is as confident in herself as she can be.
But confidence is a tricky thing isn't it? If you have too much your considered conceited, if you don't have enough you can truly limit yourself from your potential. Life is all about balance and I guess that stands true with this as well. How do you raise someone who is confident in themselves, without being vain? I truly believe that every person should genuinely love themselves. Not in the way that they think they are better than others, but that they respect themselves. When you love and respect yourself, you make positive life choices. Society puts such an emphasis on looks, and unfortunately it will dictate how the world treats you, which will in result affect the way you feel about yourself. I do think it is important that we build up our youth's self-esteem, but I can't help but think we are not approaching this the right way.
To me beauty is love, love for yourself, and love for others. When you have that kind of self love it spreads to those around you, and that is where true happiness lies. Look, do I think that it is wrong to tell your daughters, nieces, and friends that they are beautiful? Absolutely not. But I do think we don't realize just how much of an emphasis, positive or not, we put on a woman's appearance is holding us back. I don't want my daughter to ever feel like she can only be confident in herself if she considers herself physically attractive.
Instead of trying to counteract the negativity that is in this world by constantly telling my daughter she is pretty or beautiful, I want to make sure that more often than not, I am taking the focus off her appearance and placing her value on her mind and her heart. Oh what a change we would see in this world if these were the things that mattered most when it came to our little girls. It starts with us.