Daughter, I failed today.
I’ve been a hypocrite. You may only be 3, but I work everyday to teach you that your body is your own. Your body is more than the size it takes up or the shape it’s formed into. I want you to know your body is something so much more than something to be looked at and judged. I want you to always hear my voice in your head telling you your beauty and worth are in your spirit, your words, your kindness and actions. I want you to echo that out into the world to other women.
I know I am your greatest influence. I know how you view your worth and your body will ultimately come from me.
As I refused to eat the dessert at the Christmas party because “it’ll go straight to my gut” I let you down. When I commented on a woman’s appearance on the tv complimenting how great she looked after weight loss, I messed up. Today, as I stood in the mirror, half clothed, crying thinking about how uncomfortable I was in my own skin, I failed.
But I didn’t remember that until your beautiful face came in, and hugged me. You grabbed me right on the stomach I had just wished away. You ran your fingers over the stretch marks I try so hard to hide. You looked me right in my puffy, tear filled eyes and said, “pretty momma!”
Most days I am confident with how I look and how I feel, but I worry I may never be able to completely banish those thoughts about my flaws and imperfections. I know that every time you catch me focusing on my physical insecurities, you learn a lesson that could hurt you, or force you into this battle I face.
I want more for you. I know I can’t protect you from the messages you receive from the outside world. I know life is messy and you will struggle to understand or see your worth. I will treat my body like my friend. I will practice self-forgiveness. I will practice gratitude. I will use not only my voice, but my actions to teach you through example that you are beautiful and worthy and whole, just as you are.I failed today. I will do better, for you. And for me. Because as you grab my body, the same body I had cried over moments before, I see through your eyes. You see me just as I am -- beautiful and worthy. And I remembered it, too.