With Mother’s Day approaching, my thoughts turn to the impact a mother has upon her daughter, who may herself become a mother one day. It’s so important that our kids know they are loved and accepted for who they are. All facets of this are important, but today I want to focus on one particular aspect: physical appearance.
Most of my mom-friends think their kids are beautiful, but think the opposite about themselves. I hate seeing this because my friends are beautiful, and because their daughters are likely to follow in their footsteps, becoming dissatisfied with their own appearance.
We mirror to our daughters how to be women. They look to us without even realizing it. I know I did with my mother. Ladies, love yourselves. Please. Love yourselves for your daughter’s sake. If you don’t have daughters, love yourselves for the sake of the others around you. We all need examples of women who wholly embrace the way God made them.
So God created mankind in his own image; in the image of God he created them (Gen 1:27).
Embracing our appearance can be difficult because of many challenging experiences from our past. No matter how we reached that point, not one of us wants our daughters to suffer the way that we have. Not one of us wants our daughters hating the way that they look. Maybe only this possibility will provide us with the necessary motivation to love ourselves because our daughters will likely do as we do. We can tell them, over and over, they are beautiful—and we should. Their dads and brothers should too! But if they see their mom looking in the mirror with a grimace, not liking what the reflection shows, they are learning a different lesson. But if they see their beautiful mom—you—looking in the mirror and smiling at her reflection, grateful for the body and soul that God designed especially for her, they will likely do the same.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14).
You are God’s precious daughter, who captivates him simply by being yourself. Yes, I’m talking to you. It’s fine to try to lose weight, to find flattering clothes, to do skin and hair treatments, etc. It can actually be a lot of fun. However, we need to be sure we aren’t hating our body or ourselves when we do these things. Before we say something negative about our appearance, stop and think—would we say that to a friend or to our daughter? If not, then we better not say it about ourselves.
We also need to make sure we wholly embrace our children’s appearance. A friend of mine told me that, to this day, she feels self-conscious about her freckles because her mom encouraged her to hide them with makeup. I believe it would have been ideal if her mother had let my friend use makeup if she wanted (at an appropriate age), but to often remind her that she’s beautiful just the way she is, freckles included.
Keep in mind the difference between objective fact and personal preference. My adorable six-year-old threw a really strange dress over her clothes at a thrift store (in the olden days when they were open), and proudly asked, “How do I look?” “Weird,” I answered without thinking. But I immediately explained “You are beautiful, but I think the dress is weird.”
It is so important to teach our kids, especially daughters, that they are unconditionally beautiful, because they are. God doesn’t create junk. It doesn’t matter if their hair is a mess, if their clothes are weird, or if they have acne. We might not like a style they choose, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are beautiful. And you are too.