You Are Beautiful!

Today our children are being pressured and judged by their peers at every turn. Their social media accounts are their magic 8 balls that give them their approval ratings. They are consistently looking at their phones and monitoring it for acceptance, which can change from one second to the next. All of this is a big adjustment from my life as a teenager some 30 years ago, but one thing remains the same – middle school and high school years are still tough! Our young girls are still concerned about their appearances. Do they weigh too much? Is their face clear enough? Do they wear the latest fashions? How can I comfort them and separate myself from the scrutiny that surrounds them on a daily basis – or with their social media accounts, every second?

I thought back to my life as a teenager. I was concerned with the same things. The phrase I wanted to hear more than anything was, “you are beautiful.” It sounds so simple, but isn’t that what we all want to hear? Of course, there is a bigger message in believing it for yourself, but every girl wants to be told she is beautiful. So, I began a pledge, unbeknownst to them. I committed to myself that every week I would individually tell my daughters they are beautiful.

As I began my quest, I noticed they were hesitant to give any response, especially thank you. It was obvious that my comments had little value compared to their magic 8 ball. But, the more often I told them, they began to change their response. Smiles were reciprocated, and then thank you statements were given. Slowly negative comments about their body image were dissipated and more confidence was illuminated as they carried themselves. They also began to shrug off some negative comments from their peers and began to think for themselves, stepping outside of the social circle to make a stance on an issue. This one little pledge has transformed the lives of my daughters! I now hear them tell me “you are beautiful”, and I have to say, it was really tough at first to hear it. I’m no different than them. But, the more they have told me, the more I have been able to believe it for myself. Did you know that you are beautiful?