I may be slightly biased, but I have two daughters who already are showing that they will grow up to be beautiful women. As I raise them in a world obsessed with image and beauty, I struggle with how to raise them to also believe in themselves and their beauty.
As women, we are often our own toughest critics. We fret about our weight, the color of our hair, the style of our clothes or what makeup to wear. Not only are we most critical of ourselves, but many times we are most critical about other women. At times, the judgment of other women was so clear that during many of my younger adult years I fretted more over my image to impress other females.
Surprisingly, the nearer to 40 I become, the less I am concerned about what others think of my image. I have grown more comfortable with what I feel is beautiful about myself. Many times, beauty relates to how I feel physically. I have discovered that even if I am not losing weight, consistent exercise often boosts my confidence in my beauty. Last year after completing a clean eating diet for 30 days, the Whole30 challenge, I felt a boost in my image confidence. Eating clean resulted in clearer glowing skin, increased energy and a feeling of self-worth having completed the challenge.
As I fumble through parenting, I know my girls will struggle with their own self-image no matter how much I will aim to prevent it. As with any life skill that I must teach my children, I am beginning to believe that learning to have a positive self-image may start at home. I hope that my own positive self-image about myself will be an example to my daughters. If my daughter asks me why I have chosen to exercise or eat clean foods, I have chosen to respond that I do it to improve my health and not highlight that I am always hopeful that I will lose a few pounds in the process. Hopefully, as their mother and the primary female in their life, I will be an example that a number on the scale is not what makes us beautiful.
Additionally, in the last 10 years of my marriage, my husband has expressed how beautiful he finds me even at my worst moments. The love and confidence he has shown me when I have had not had it for myself has helped me improve my belief in my own beauty over the years. Applying the same principle to both of my daughters, I compliment them on their beautiful attributes and plan to continue the compliments throughout their life in hopes that they will struggle a little less and have a little more confidence in themselves.
Writer Bio: Summer Bolte
I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fullfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.