Becoming a parent makes you reflect on how you were raised. Were you kissed and coddled? Encouraged to be brave, self-reliant, or stoic? Did your parents admire your beauty, affirm your strengths, and accept your quirks?
As I raise my two preschoolers, I often think about my childhood – the good things I can pass on, the things I longed for as a child, and the mistakes I don’t want to make. After one such internal review (probably stemming from a boring commute), I relayed my insights to my husband over dinner:
“You know, I don’t remember my mom ever telling me I was pretty. I felt accepted by her, but she never verbalized that to me. It’s not like I felt sad or bothered about it. But, I tell the girls all the time how gorgeous they are, and it’s not like I intentionally set out to do that. I just can’t help but tell them. Weird, huh?”
My hubby, knowing that on a scale of 1-10 in the verbal love index I generally rank around a three, agreed, but warned, “You need to be careful though of doing that too. You don’t want them to think what matters most is how they look.”
And this is why I married him. And maybe why I use Dove soap and deodorant.
Let me explain.
Dove has a mission to help raise girls’ self-esteem by providing strong role models, showing real women’s bodies in their advertisements, and encouraging moms and daughters to connect. They’ve gone so far as providing thorough discussion guides and activities for moms and daughters to explore together their relationship with beauty, self-worth and body confidence.
They’ve also asked me to be a part of their newest campaign “Women Who Should Be Famous.” Of course, I gulped down my excited squeal to say, “Heck yea!” As you know, I’m no foreigner when it comes to dealing with post-partum body image, even having gone so far as petitioning God and calling out Octomom.
I’ll be writing several posts on how we as women can bank on beauty – beauty defined through character, expressed through presence, appreciated in various forms, and acknowledged by self – and how we can share that legacy with our daughters.
You are going to love the next post which highlights some excellent ideas for instilling the preschool set with a deeper meaning of beauty. If you haven’t already, subscribe to get Mommy Crib Notes by email. You do not want to miss it!