How My Body Shaming Affected My Daughter

This post was originally published on Motherhooodandmerlot.com

As mothers, sometimes we forget the effect that our words and actions have on our children. It’s easy to accidentally let out own heads get the best of us and let out actions or thoughts that we shouldn’t when our children are around. I know that I am especially guilty of this when it comes to body shaming.

I was actually sitting at my desk the other day thinking about writing a post pertaining to letting my daughter play with makeup. But, then she said something to me that changed my entire thought process. She had asked me if she could play with makeup, and I told her “no” because we had somewhere to be later that day,

When she “plays” with makeup, she ends up looking like she has two black eyes. This is fine for home, but not out in public. You know what I mean?
Anyway, after I told her “no” she was upset. Her response was what quickly caught my attention.

“But how can I be beautiful without makeup on?”

Her response was what quickly caught my attention. 'But how can I be beautiful without makeup on?'

She proceeded to tell me that she didn’t want to go anywhere if she couldn’t “get pretty” and her outfit “wasn’t even good enough” because it made her ugly.
Listen, if you ever want to feel like you’re a terrible mother, just wait until those words come out of your daughter’s mouth.

It was like I got punched in the gut.

I have always had self-confidence issues, more so after the birth of my children. Body confidence after baby isn’t exactly at an all-time high for most women. I have a pretty sizable fibroid that consistently makes me look like I have an early second trimester baby belly.

Super awesome.

I will admit that I sometimes freak out about leaving the house, because I feel like I look unattractive in what I’m wearing. I will call myself fat at least once a day… mostly in my own head. I never try to do this in front of my children though. 

I will call myself fat at least once a day… mostly in my own head. I never try to do this in front of my children though.

There are times when I am getting ready, and of course as a blogger and someone who is big into social media, I take a lot of pictures. I take quite a few of my makeup looks and sometimes I will state that I “look terrible in that picture” or “that angle makes my face look fat” or “my skin looks awful.”
I don’t mean for these to be taken in a way that decreases my own value or natural beauty, but to my daughter it very may well be what happens.

I try my hardest to exude self-confidence around my children. I try to show my daughter what happens when you take pride in your work and the gifts that God has given you. I want her to see how much her dad loves her mom, with or without makeup, with sweatpants on, on my “worst” of days. I always try to show her that beauty is so much more than makeup and a pretty outfit.

I always try to show her that beauty is so much more than makeup and a pretty outfit.

If you read my post on “The Power of Makeup”, I talked a little bit about how I believe makeup is only made for fun and to enhance the beauty that is already there.

This is the message that I want my daughter to hear and to take to heart.

I don’t want to hear her say “I’m fat.”

I don’t want her to see me shed tears, because I don’t feel like I look good in anything.

I don’t want her to think that I wear makeup, because I think I’m ugly without it.

I was teased when I was younger, for my weight and appearance, and I still feel today what I believe the effects of it are. I don’t want to implant any bit of that negativity about body image and self confidence onto my daughters. Not only do we as women need to stop body shaming ourselves ― because we are all beautiful in our own way ― we need to do it so that our daughters are raised with the idea that self-confidence, grace, and working hard for what you want are traits of beautiful woman.

Let’s teach our daughters the real definition of beauty.

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If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

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