I am 5’4″ and 120lbs. I’ve been called fat, big-boned and thick…and during my unhealthy, sick years, I was called all the opposite – a walking skeleton, a rail, skin and bones. Why am I telling you this? All of those words did damage to my body image. Our society’s concept, or definition of what’s considered “beautiful” is sad. Women are starving themselves for a thigh gap or flat abs; they’re covering up their curves and hiding behind makeup. I’m also sharing this with you to be honest with myself, to embrace the body I was given and to work on self-love.
While I personally do not use or support Dove products, I can get behind the message they’re trying to send. According to their research, only 4% of women worldwide consider themselves beautiful and the saddest part, only 11% of girls globally are comfortable describing themselves as ‘beautiful’. As a woman who struggles with self-esteem and positive body image, I am working hard to be a better person for my daughter. From the moment Willow was born, I vowed never to use the words “fat” or “skinny” and to be more confident with who I am and what I look like. To focus more on health, happiness and well-being and less on the numbers on the scale or the size of my jeans.
The other night I stumbled upon Dove’s Legacy video and it really hit home. I’m sure Willow has seen me make awful glares in the mirror or even heard me say something negative about my body under my breath…that all stops now. I’m sharing this with you because I think it’s so important that we raise girls to be more confident, to look in the mirror and smile – be proud of who they are. Words can be so damaging. So, mamas, please be positive; be a role model for your sweet girls. Love your body and treat it right – teach your girls to do the same. Most importantly, teach them that beauty is more than just a pretty face.
“The way a girl feels about her beauty starts with how you feel about yours.”
So, from this day forward, NO MORE negative self-talk or thoughts. YOU are beautiful. In fact, I say we all need to make a list of what we like about our bodies, not what we hate. Write it down and be proud. We influence our children, even when we don’t think we are.
You can read more about Dove’s social mission HERE
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I love this post Mandy! Thank you so much for sharing all of this. I have, too, caught myself calling myself “fat” when Olivia is too close by, but quickly realized the detrimental effects it can have and I have vowed to just keep my opinions quiet and try to be more accepting. I also see it within a lot of my control too. I am fairly confident in my body and shape, it is mainly my stomach that I don’t like, but I know if I exercised a bit more, it would help. I worked out 6 days a week prior to Olivia coming in this world, and I just don’t want to work out that excessively anymore, but I do work out short exercises every couple of days and should do a bit more. It’s hard though with my crazy schedule.
I do know that I don’t want Olivia being so insecure as I was growing up, so I need to keep my mouth shut!
I also love that you mentioned not saying “fat” or “skinny”. Most women think that every woman wants to be skinny, but NOOOOOOOOOO! I can’t tell you how much I HATED that word growing up. I was extremely skinny growing up and wanted curves more than anything and I got called so many names and I’m here to tell you, it crushed my spirit and hurt terribly. I absolutely hated, just hated my body. Ironically, I grew curves and developed and now that word wouldn’t bother me, but it is still an insult either way. It’s implying that it is too extreme of something, so name calling period should just not happen. Funny because now I don’t want to be fat, lol. I want to be lean and fit, but with my curves. I love my curves, just don’t want a better tummy. If I could just stop making desserts, but somehow I don’t see that happening, lol!
Thanks for sharing girl!! xo
Awwwww! Thank you, Brandi!! Right?! I hate both words, “skinny” and “fat.” Why must we label people in such a way?! Our society focuses way too much on numbers and appearances. I’m not saying let yourself go and eat whatever, but I am saying you can be the “skinniest” woman, but also be unhealthy. I have never been healthier and I feel great! I’m also at my highest weight (not counting pregnancy). Sure, I would love to tone up my belly and thighs, but that will come with exercise and time. I never had curves until after I had Willow! So I’m actually enjoying this. Haha! Please don’t stop making and creating desserts 🙂
Lots of love ❤
You are so brave and honest. This is something I struggle with, but I’m determined to overcome. Our amazing bodies brought life into the world. Self-love is imperative. Thank you for the reminder and this beautiful message. 🙂
Thank you so much, Christy!! It’s hard sometimes and after coming across this video, I am more aware. It breaks my heart knowing that there are so many girls and women out there who aren’t happy with their bodies, who can’t say they’re beautiful. I hope our girls can have the confidence to know that they are beautiful…and be proud of their bodies.
Lots of love ❤