This blog is a three-fold initiative and one of the main topics is women's empowerment. What brought me to that point? The need I saw and felt for a real, raw, perfectly imperfect, curvy woman speaking up and standing at the front of the line for kindness and confidence in a sea of photo-shopped, fake and superficial. Does that mean that I have all the confidence and self-assurance that I am just fine the way I am? Hell. No. In fact, I had to stop MYSELF from the nitpick self talk when I saw myself in a bathing suit in a mirror at the local hot springs last week. My brain is my own toughest critic. I often wish there was a magic wand that my fairy godmother could sprinkle pixie dust on my forehead and I would see myself as others see me and as God sees me. But, alas, that is not real, however, we can do so much to strengthen our self-confidence, self-esteem and self-love. The best part is that as we do that we are happier and we become examples to others to do the same. I want to share some of the feedback I received when I posed the question, "what would you say if this was your daughter?" To protect the individuals, I will keep all comments anonymous. The comments come from a wide variety of women with differing religions, ages, professional backgrounds, some are mothers, some are not. They are beautiful and strengthened me in my on-going quest for self-love.
- Tell her she is beautiful every day. Don't say "you look beautiful," but "you are beautiful." And also amazing, smart, strong, funny, kind, sweet, etc. Never comment on body. Ever. Even 'good' comments.
- Ask the why...why do you feel this way? Has someone said something? You know, God made you to his perfection and that is what really matters. Everyone has flaws or something they don't like about themselves but it's how God sees you. God made you this way for a reason. He loves the way you look and you should too!
- Focus on acknowledging the painful emotions that accompany - joining with her in sharing my own experiences of feeling " not good enough"
- Part of helping the problem is understanding where she is hating herself. If she isn't liking how big she is, instead of saying she needs to go on a diet, exercise with her and start eating healthy with her. Maybe find some good roll models that aren't fake (like pro female sports players) and let her see how not everyone is fake. Also help her understand that most people in magazines are photo-shopped.
- It's also important that this is something that our boys face too.
- First of all, I commend that little girl for being able to open up about her insecurities. Definitely nothing wrong with that. I just kept my insecurities bottled up as a child and I should have been more open with them. I would tell your friend to THANK her daughter for bringing up these insecurities. Her being open about them is a step in the right direction. If she were my daughter, I would tell her not to care what society thinks of her. Those idiots don't matter. What IS considered ideal? Is it even that desirable? Do you want to live the kind of lifestyle that comes with it? Girls who are "perfect" probably aren't as happy as they appear to be. They have problems, just like everybody else. Imperfection equates uniqueness. The people who give you the time of day truly appreciate and embrace your imperfections. They love you for them. I feel blessed to have the friends I do because they know I'm imperfect and insecure, but they don't CARE. They love me just the same. I would say to her, "You do you, hun, because trying to be someone or something else wastes a lot of time that could've been spent discovering yourself and developing your own unique talents." God created you the way he did for a specific reason.
Every single day we have to remember that God created us to be UNIQUE, wonderful, quirky and lovely for a reason. The media creates a standard to sell magazines and advertising. Others speak harshly towards us, about us or about themselves to draw the attention away from their blaring insecurity. Please, please, please be mindful of how you speak and act around the kids in your life because they DO listen and create their own opinions of themselves before they can even express it.
I've shared this video before, but I love it so much because it is a very literal and blunt example of how we shape the way our kids think. #likeagirl is still such a powerful example to me and gives me a constant reminder to be a better example to the kids in my life, but to also live it with myself.
The moral of the story: Being unique is our super power. Fly high and save the world in your own special way.
Until next time, my lovelies!