One week after the Dadmissions B.E.A.U.T.Y. project was born and maybe just maybe the smallest kernel of a movement is starting to take shape. I have heard from women across the U.S. and in many other countries who could relate to a girl and her struggle with her image in the mirror. Really, I think everyone is relating more to the parent angle and trying to convey to our kids that they can be beautiful inside in out, that beauty isn’t measured in magazines and advertisements and photoshopped images of unattainable sizes and proportions. We teach our kids sex ed and drivers ed but how much work is done on self esteem and just how to build self worth from the inside out. The B.E.A.U.T.Y. stands for By Empowering And Understanding Today’s Youth. The next time my daughter has one of those instances where she’s looking in the mirror, I hope to share some of these many essays and comments people have sent from all over. Maybe we can do something bigger with this and reach a bigger stage and REALLY do something to affect some change.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Facebook at DadmissionsTheBook.
In the meantime, here are some more very courageous folks sharing their OWN stories. Thank you all very much!
Kaley: I am completely torn in half about the subject of this project. Half of me is a 23 year old who buys into this crazy industry. I wear make-up. I try to look fashionable. I long to have a smaller waist, hips, butt, bust…etc. I secretly tear down myself and others to try and convince myself that everyone has insecurities. “Well she knows she has no hips. She HAS to! But she pulls off that outfit…..I couldn’t pull it off. My hips are HUGE!!” The other half is a newly married woman with two step-daughters that she loves to pieces. If one day my little Tater Tot looked up at me with her crystal blue eyes through those soft blonde curls and told me that the chubby baby face cheeks I love to kiss were F-A-T and she didn’t feel 100% confident in her self, I would break down inside. Maybe it is just an ability we don’t posses. Accurate self-reflection. I know I am not medically fat. I know I am a size 16 with a very healthy medical record. I know my deep brown eyes and matching long hair with dusted freckles make me ordinary and completely unique all at the same time. I know when I was 11 I was obsessed with being beautiful. Who was beautiful? I turned to society for the answer. The ladies in movies and on posters and magazines were beautiful.
You want to know what I think is beautiful?
I think my mother is beautiful fresh from gardening in the sun all day.
My best friend’s big sister is beautiful with hat hair and no make up.
I think my twins sisters are beautiful after running a marathon.
My girls are beautiful with their laughter and giggles in the next room.
My grandmother is beautiful in her two piece jump suit for a day of relaxation.
I am beautiful, curled up in sweats reading a book and biting my lip in concentration.
It doesn’t matter what size clothes you wear, as long as you love yourself wearing them and you’re happy.
Lisa: I am having the same struggles with my daughter and it is so difficult. So many of the stores have clothing that are cut for skinny kids only and it is difficult to find the right outfits that don’t make my her feel fat. Recently I bought small painting of a woman in a crazy hat and it says ” girl you look fabulous”. I hung it in my daughters room and I make a point to say it to her daily. This seems to have helped especially when she comes out in an outfit she really loves.
Sara: My oldest is 9 yrs old.. and he thinks he is fat. He’s beautiful and the smartest kid in his class. He’s also everyone’s friend and the teaches helper. He chose to be in the run club at school as well as be on student council. With all that he has achieved and everyone that is behind him to empower him he still struggles with his self image. I also struggle with mine and I’m afraid it might be what has caused my beautiful boy to be self conscience! It’s something we all struggle with and I think what you’re doing here is wonderful and amazing. The change begins in us as parents and adults!
Kay: All the airbrushing and retouching of the advertisements don’t help. There is no airbrushing in this world that can make a person truly beautiful…
Christina: We have banned the word fat in our home, along with stupid, bossy and a few other words. I do feel that banning some things just makes it worse, but we’ve encouraged our kids to be more descriptive. There are all different shapes out there and as they get older it’s a fact of life that not all clothes look good on all shapes. So it’s encouraged to say things like, I would like a dress that draws in at my waist…. Blah blah blah. I hope that makes sense. Women are beautiful. We can create human beings for crying out loud. That’s pretty darn awesome in my mind! All shapes and sizes, health is also a staple in our house, mental and physical. The kids ask why I exercise, it is because I want to be able to keep up with them and be healthy. Anyway, good luck.
Requested to be Anonymous: As the new year came about, I decided that I’m not making resolutions anymore. I’m making a New Years Renovation. I’m renovating myself and the way I look at ME. I’m going to learn to love ME again. Just the way I am. I’m not fat, I’m not ugly, I’m ME and my husband, my daughter, and all of my friends love me just the way I am. What the heck is so wrong with me that I am finding fault everywhere I look, in every direction that I turn? I have given birth to a smart, beautiful, and talented little girl… there’s something miraculous about that. I have flaws and imperfections, everyone does. But there is a lot of beauty that I’m not seeing. I need to focus on that. So I have made it my mission to do that this year.