You Are Beautiful: Let's Talk About Self-Esteem
I can remember crying myself to sleep as a teenager truly believing I was ugly, fat or just not worth anything at all. It happens to almost all of us. Growing up as a girl ain't easy and it is especially not easy in a world full of drama and bullying. I spent years of my life praying I would become invisible. I not only had low self-esteem but I also was crippled by fear. This did not come from my home, my parents taught me the exact opposite. But, for whatever reason, every single rude comment or smart remark from the kids around me when straight to my heart and tore me a part little by little.
It was not until I was in my twenties that I started to realize what true beauty was all about. I wish I would have realized this as a young girl, it would have saved me years of tears and pain. I firmly believe in the importance of talking to your children about self-esteem and confidence. Keeping that open dialogue will not only keep your children encouraged but will also help them realize that their self-worth is not based on what someone else says about them.
The folks over at Dove are on a mission to help inspire and empower young girls. Check this out, "Dove® is committed to inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential. The Dove® Movement for Self-Esteem invites all women to join us in creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.
We have reached more than 9 million girls so far and with your help we can reach our target of 15 million by 2015." That is amazing.
Did you know only 4% of women consider themselves beautiful? While that statistic is pretty astounding, I completely believe it. If you have a young girl in your life, it is time to have "the talk."
Visit the Dove Self Esteem Wall for tips on how to start the conversation with the young girl or girls in your life. Here's why now is the time:
"Anxiety about beauty begins at an early age, and can even keep girls from doing what they love. You can change that with a conversation. Reach out to the girl in your life and talk to her about beauty, confidence and self-esteem.
You can find the expert tips and real-world advice to get started on the Self-Esteem Wall. Then, once you’ve had “the talk,” share your experience to help inspire other moms and mentors.
You can share a sentence, small story, or upload your favorite photo of you and the young girl in your life from your desktop, Facebook or instagram.
Help Dove reach their goal of boosting confidence in 15 million girls by 2015."
I asked a friend of mine to have a conversation with her little girl and ask her what her concerns are in her own life. Here are her concerns:
"She feels like she has to wear her hair a certain way, have long hair/curly hair/short hair (basically whatever they don’t naturally have). She has mentioned her legs are “fat” and she doesn't like to wear shorts that aren’t long (close to her knee) because her legs are fat."
Isn't it amazing that 'beauty' in our minds is whatever is unnatural to our own bodies? Whatever we do not have is what we think would ultimately make us beautiful. It is time to change that mindset. My friend is doing that with her own daughter, check out this response:
"I tell her that she should be thankful she has strong, powerful legs that is what makes her a great soccer player! And I always tell her she looks pretty and is smart! I also always tell her that everyone is different and to appreciate differences not make fun of them. What you may see as different is actually a blessing from God (muscular legs = fast soccer player) and she couldn’t run fast if she didn’t have muscles!"
It is conversations like these that could change a girl's entire life. Keep building up your girls! Keep them encouraged and don't let a day go by without telling them that they are strong and beautiful. If you would like to start a conversation with a girl in your life, be sure to download the Let's Talk Tool Kit and get started.
Head over to Dove on Facebook and let them know how much you appreciate this movement of real beauty!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Dove however, all opinions and content are my own.