Negative self-talk surrounds me. I am not immune to it but I am fighting to oppose it viciously. I look into the mirror and see flaws, things I want to change, things that make me feel less than. But do I dare verbalize them, no? I have a duty you see. My duty is to expose the tiny ears around me that love will always win. Love for yourself, your body, your beauty and even more, all your perceived short comings. My daughter grew inside of me and now I have this beautiful baby, this tiny beacon of hope that is relying on me to help her to fill it up with light, positivity and self-worth.
I made a promise to myself to look into the mirror and say the things that I am grateful for out loud. It usually goes something like this:
Thank you, body, for being strong and full of nourishment so that I can live my dreams.
Thank you, smile lines, for creasing the edges of my eyes to remind me that the remnants of happiness will always remain even when the smile is no longer present.
Thank you, senses, for helping me see, smell, taste, hear and touch the essence of beauty in this world.
Thank you for everything you are doing for me. I am smart. I am kind and I am important.
It is my hope that these tiny ears are listening. I have confidence that when the self-doubt and scrutiny kicks in for her that she too will oppose it viciously. That the tiny voice in her head that tells her that she sees inconsistencies with what the rest of the world labels as “beautiful” will not be believed for a second and vanish as quickly as the thoughts came.
Of course she will see me apply red lipstick, moisturizer, night cream, sun screen and lotion. Of course she will observe the rare moments when I curl my hair, put on a dress that I love or apply mascara. She will see these things and when she asks why I do it, I am not entirely sure how I will respond. I guess when I ask myself the same question, it’s because I want my creativity, my inner beauty and my spirit whether it be sassy, humble, or grateful that I have the privilege & freedom of self-expression that day to shine on the outside as well.
Do I do it for others? There was a time in my life when I would have responded yes. But as I continue to get older, I discover that getting ready is more for me and less for anyone else. Hell, not getting ready is for me too. I am learning to love my unwashed hair and bare face equally as much because while I love the way red lips and smooth skin feel, I also know that it is my duty to set the best example of self-confidence for my daughter regardless of how I choose to get dressed that day.
She has a right to practice self-love and I will continue to squash the tiny voice inside my head that tells me I am not beautiful for both my sake and hers.
The night cream, serum and lip stick (Racecar Red) is by Prescriptives. Thank you Prescriptives for sponsoring this post and believing in the vision I had of writing about self-love. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
What do you do to demonstrate positive self-esteem and body image for your children?
Photography by Brittany Renee'