Building Confidence in Beauty
Raising daughters is anything but easy. But, I do it every day. And building confidence in beauty can be a chore some days. Why? Because people can be mean. Kids can be so harsh to each other. And, in some cases, we can be our biggest critics. Whatever the circumstance, realizing our own beauty is not always easy.
As cliche as it may sound, I do believe beauty is only skin deep. I instill in my daughters that their outward appearance is only one part of being beautiful. Their inner beauty is what is most important. And, because I want them to be good people, I teach them to instill this in themselves. Of course, since they are my daughters, I see nothing but beauty radiating from them each time I look at them. I am their mom. I should. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
When my middle daughter, JJ, was just in kindergarten, she found herself at the mercy of a mean-spirited little girl in her class. This girl was always in competition with JJ. Whether it was competing for friends, grades, or attention… it was always something. One day, well into the school year, JJ came home upset. Now, she is pretty thick-skinned in most cases, so I was genuinely concerned. After some persuading, I got her to open up and let me know what was wrong. She told me how this girl had said mean things to her at school… and told her she was ugly. JJ was heartbroken.
As a mother, my heart was crushed for her. How dare this child hurt my precious little girl. How dare she crush her spirit.
Using the faith I trust and live by, I pulled a verse that depicted how we were each “beautifully and wonderfully made” and helped JJ memorize it. Over and over again we repeated it until she knew it by heart. It filled her with confidence and she was prepared the next day.
When this little girl came up to JJ and began to taunt her once again, my then 6 year old daughter came back with nothing but love and respect. She informed this other student how she was beautifully and wonderfully made and the little girl had no retort. And she never did again. The rest of the school year she refrained from using mean words towards my daughter. I believe our point was made and she knew enough to move on.
And my daughter? She found a renewed confidence and strength in herself. We talked about the importance of being kind and loving, respectful and caring. We discussed the beauty found within us all. Together we restored our love for the person we were each made to be.
Make a Difference
Did you know that more than half of all girls across the world report that their mom is their number one role model? I love that! I aspire to always be someone my girls can talk to and look up to. All it takes is a simple act, such as a conversation about beauty, to make a difference in someone’s life. The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem opens up a world of opportunities for women to make a difference in the live’s of others. Dove wants to help all women, all girls, to reach their full potential in life.
This weekend, October 5th through the 7th, Dove invites women to participate in the Dove Self-Esteem Weekend. A kick-off event in Times Square is set to spark a national conversation. The event will begin with a silent march to Times Square. This represents the noise and distractions women face daily as they try to break through to the younger generation. Other organizations will host events nationwide as they join the conversation. Walmart will have designated areas within their stores where messages of encouragement can be shared.
You can visit Vivemejor.com to access free tools to motivate and inspire a girl in your life. Download the Vive Mejor Hablemos “Let’s Talk” toolkit to help start a conversation on both beauty and self-esteem. Also, visit Dove.com to learn more about the Girl Scouts, Girls Inc, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Facebook Chat on 10/4
Today, October 4th from 7:00 to 8:00 pm EST, you can join People en Espanol columnist and parenting expert Jeannette Torres-Alvarez on Facebook for a chat. Hope to see you there!