Hello little me, you’re beautiful!
When I was a small girl I lacked hearing the very important words every little girl would love to hear, “you’re beautiful”. As I got older and my body developed, I got told that “now you’ll think you’re all that”. Never did I hear that I was a beautiful young woman. As I got older I started to hear the words from young promiscuous boys, but not from who I needed to hear it from the most. I was also taught very young that your beauty can land you in uncomfortable, unsafe, and horrible situations. So I learned to hide the new body I was growing into. I was let down, my village failed me in a way I never spoke about until now.
Beauty comes from within. We always hear that. But do we believe it? Our world has shown me different.
If you’re not the right size, have acne, hair isn’t perfect, nose is a little big, lips are a little small, you’re not curvy enough, you’re too curvy, then you’re not beautiful. You see every cover of a magazine and never do I see anything out of place, never anything that is to big, or to small, to much or not enough. I see every actress on tv look stunning at every award show and movie premiere. And as I was growing, longing to hear those words from my mother or father and seeing all the above, I was certain I was ugly.
It has taken me so many years to rebuild my self esteem that was built on wet sand. I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and hated what I saw. I’ve been at events that I swore I was the ugliest, most horribly dressed one present. I’ve tried different hairstyles and make up tricks. But none of it filled me with any hope.
What did change for me was when I had my first daughter, and then my second. I will never forget when my daughter looked at me and would tell me how beautiful I was to her. I had little eyes who saw me in ways I had always wished. It wasn’t a man, although my husband reminded me daily he thought I was beautiful, but it was who I looked at as the most beautiful creatures on the planet, my babies. They helped heal my heart of the hurt I felt. The times I was laughed at, mocked, or taken advantage of, started to disappear into the far distance. I knew I would never want them to look at themselves and hate what they see, because what I see when I look at them is pure beauty.
I know now every person is beautiful, especially every woman. There is a strength in us that doesn’t compare to anything else. We bear our children and raise households. We hold powerful positions in companies. We have adapted to this new scary society, in strength! Are you a size zero or 20? Doesn’t matter! You’re beautiful at either. Our society has damaged our hearts into believing we aren’t. But I dare you to ask your children what they see.
Let’s teach our children to see beauty at what it was created to be seen as. Strength, love, humility, kindness. That way when they judge themselves more on character than appearance. I tell my daughters everyday how beautiful they are. I never want them to grow up searching for those words from someone else, no I want them to be embedded in them! And we owe it to ourselves to stop obsessing over the scales, to stop comparing ourselves to others. We deserve to feel beautiful, from the inside out.