“Dear Mum, I was seven when I discovered that you were fat, ugly and horrible. Up until that point I had believed that you were beautiful – in every sense of the word…
But all of that changed when, one night, we were dressed up for a party and you said to me, ”Look at you, so thin, beautiful and lovely. And look at me, fat, ugly and horrible.”
At first I didn’t understand what you meant.
”You’re not fat,” I said earnestly and innocently, and you replied, ”Yes I am, darling. I’ve always been fat; even as a child.” – Kasey Edwards
(If anyone hasn’t read Kasey’s essay Passing on Body Hatred, please do…it’s totally worth it!)
What if the author’s mother saw herself through the eyes of her loving daughter?
After all, she had a great thing going. She was blessed to be a mother who was clearly adored by her daughter, leaving us to wonder how she could throw that away. How could she tell her daughter those terrible things about herself? Why would she want her daughter to think of her in those nasty terms?
Why would any of us want that?
As the author states in her writing, this is not about blame. At our core, we are all loving women who have somehow become caught up in a vicious cycle of self-doubt and self-loathing… leaving us prone to pass these feelings on to the next generation whether we mean to or not.
It is hard to fight years of conditioning, brainwashing, and hurt. It takes time, it takes intention, and it takes prayer. However, as hard as it is, we simply must try.
When we validate ourselves by the way that we look, we are teaching our girls to do the exact same thing. Where we place our self-worth they will place theirs.
We may have to fight our way through the conditioning of our own formative years. We may have to rewind the clock, and deal with the pains of our past, and we may have to consciously re-train our brains. But when it comes to health of our daughters it is a battle very much worth fighting.
Try it, practice it, and hone it until you not only believe it yourself, but the little girls watching you believe it also.
- Where does your worth come from?
- Where do you want hers to?
It happens to be Mother’s Day, and today more than any other day we owe one another our love.
Daughters, show your mothers that they have always been beautiful in your eyes, no matter what they may think.
Forgive and be forgiven for words and actions that were never meant to hurt, even if they accidentally did.
Mother’s, love your daughters by loving yourself. They think you are beautiful, and they are right. Never ever tell them (or yourself) differently. It is one of the best gifts you will ever give them.
P.S. It is important to note that this message isn’t altogether different for mothers of boys. By leading them to think that a woman’s worth is in her appearance, we may end up bringing up boys who have unrealistic expectations of women. Mothers of boys are raising someone’s future husband. How we speak to and about ourselves may be the way that he speaks to her…so please be kind. 🙂