Thursday, May 9, 2013

Real Beauty

This past week has been a lot of things...overwhelming, frustrating, heartbreaking and ultimately enlightening.  My father-in-law, who suffered from a farming accident (read more here) isn't healing properly and had to go back into surgery.  A project I have been working on for over four years came to completion and we have been swamped by it.  But most of all, my heart is hurting for my daughter. 
My daughter, M, is five years old.  She is one of the sweetest, kindest souls I have ever met.  She is empathetic and wise far beyond her five short years.  She is beautiful in every way possible.  And at age five, she came home from school crying because one little girl in her class told her "you aren't pretty", "you aren't my friend", "you aren't good enough".  Big, sloppy tears fall down my cheeks now even as I write this.  You aren't good enough!!  At age five!  It breaks my heart that any child can say this and that any child has to hear this.  Truthfully, I think I am taking this harder than her.  After talking to her for a few minutes, she felt better.  She knows that she is beautiful, on the inside and out and she knows that she has friends who love her for who she is.  I know this won't be the last time she encounters these sorts of comments, but I wish I could bubble wrap her little heart and protect her forever. 
Then it gets me thinking even further, isn't this what many women feel; we aren't pretty enough, we aren't good enough.  How do I raise a daughter who knows her worth; who knows how important she is, how special she is, how beautiful she is on the inside and the outside?  First things her.  Show her that I think I am pretty, important, special and loved.  And hopefully, she will follow suit and learn the same.  When she looks in the mirror, I want her to see what I see in her.     
A few weeks ago, a friend shared the Dove Real Beauty video on Facebook.  The first time I watched this video, I cried big, ugly tears and immediately shared it with my friends.  

I love this video but it also makes me sad.  As women, why do so many not see our real beauty?  When we look in the mirror, why is the image so different than what others see. 

This week, I pulled out my wedding pictures.  My brother-in-law told me my wedding pictures looked like I could be a model, so this week I looked at them with his eyes.  Seven years ago, I didn't see it, I almost thought he was being sarcastic.  This week, I looked with gentler eyes, and there was a beautiful, happy young lady looking back at me.

My pledge is to look at myself with kinder and gentler eyes.  Not only for me, but for my daughter.  I want her to love herself and there is no better way to teach than by example. 

Question of the Day: Do you see yourself how others do?


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to your daughter, but unfortunately you are right about the fact this won't be the last time. I grew up with an extremely spoiled and rude girl who shared some of my closest friends and I was the one she constantly picked on, but being raised to be considerate and nice, I ignored most of it. She was caught, on occaison, but I moved on and grew stronger from it.

    I had posted an article on a video that Disney did last year (or maybe a few years ago) about redefining the term "Princess". It's like the Dove commercial, but for younger girls. You can find it here:

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this link!! That video is great!

  2. Oh my goodness that's heartbreaking. My peers had a huge influence in shaping my self esteem in high school. It's sad, really. I feel so bad for your little girl, and for you. I'm sorry she's having to deal with that, but sounds as if you told her all the right things. Just keep reminding her of that as she grows older! She's a beautiful's ashame kids are so mean. :0( Hope your father-in-law starts to heal up soon, too! So sorry all of this has been happening at the same time!

    1. I's sad we let our peers dictate our self esteem so much in high school and one not-so-positive influence can do a lot of damage. I hope to prepare her so she doesn't care what others think and feels special for who she is.