The newest video by Dove, Beauty Sketches, affected me more than I thought it would. Wait until you see it and you’ll know why.
I have issues with my body, my features. It’s something I’ve always thought about, worried about, looked in magazines and judged about. I’m not sure when it started, but I remember being young and feeling insecure. It wasn’t anything about my family life or friends necessarily. I think it was just what I saw, what my friends talked about, society, always wishing for something different or better.
As an adult, I still have issues (as shown by my crying like a baby at the above video), but it really made me think about my own kids. My husband, Jordan, and I sat after the video thinking of our kids. How will they grow up? Will they worry about their looks, features, body? It’s starts at a young age as I’ve already heard my 7 year old say in passing, “Mom, I’m fat” as she patted her tummy.
How do we help our kids? How can they grow up in a society where looks, beauty, and fashion seem to be everything? How do we help them know they are beautiful inside and out?
I have a few thoughts.
1. Lead by example: I know a majority of what my children think of themselves starts with how Jordan and I think of ourselves. What our thoughts, actions, and attitudes are become instilled in our kids. I need to remember to vocalize the good and change my own thinking of the bad. If I love myself, my body, my features, I know my kids will notice and hopefully understand it for themselves.
2. You is kind, you is smart, you is important: Children absorb more than we realize. Just like Aibileen said in the Help to that sweet little girl, it’s important for us to tell our kids inspiring things. We try to talk to our children about who they are, how they see themselves, and what they want to become. Hopefully they will take with them in life those things we try to instill.
3. Shake off the bad: There are going to be those who tear people down, say mean things, and bully other kids. We try to talk to our children about their day at school and what they are feeling. I hope I can share positive thoughts to help them learn to shake off the bad influences they see and hear when I’m not around. I can’t be with them all the time, but I hope my words and inspiration can.
4. Beauty isn’t about looks: I want to help my kids understand looks aren’t’ everything. There is so much more to life. I’ve learned myself real beauty is from within. The women in the video described by the strangers seemed to be described by their attitudes and behavior more than their looks. Bright, lively, confident. Again, this is leading by example when it comes to my kids. Being bright, happy, and confident myself can hopefully show my kids I’m beautiful in all kinds of ways.
I plan to show my children this video and have a discussion about it, what it means to see yourself differently and how others may see you. To love yourself and know that you are beautiful!
How do you deal with this issue in your home, with your kids or even with yourself?