The first thing I did when I got these pictures back was look at my flaws.
My roots are horrendous.
My face looks fat when I smile.
My eyes look weird.
Ugh, those thighs.
I was so busy picking out everything I hated in the pictures that I didn’t even notice what I loved about them.
I love how much fun we’re having.
I love the way she looks at me.
I love wearing matching outfits.
I love having these photos to look back on.
I love her smile.
I love her innocence.
I love the fact that she has no idea what body image is yet and I hope she never looks at photos of herself the way I look at photos of myself.
I read a friend’s blog post yesterday on 10 ways not to hate your body. And what really struck a cord with me was the fact that she wants to love her body for her daughter’s sake. Because she doesn’t want to set a negative example by body shaming herself. And if we’re being honest, I do this all. of. the. time.
Ugh I feel so fat.
This makes me look huge.
My acne is terrible, I’m so ugly.
I hate my boobs.
I’m so bloated.
I didn’t even notice how cute these pictures were because I was too busy looking for the negative. Too busy picking out my every flaw and finding a reason to not like certain ones. And I hate that I did that. I never want my daughter to look at a picture and see things she hates. I want her to look at a picture or in the mirror and see things she loves about herself. And that has to start with me doing the same.
None of us are perfect. Not all of us can be super skinny, tall, or look like supermodels. Those types of women are beautiful in their own way but we are all beautiful in our own way too. Some of us have great curves. Some of us have beautiful smiles. Some of us have long legs while others have toned ones. We all have trouble spots and that’s just real life. If we don’t like something, we can fix it. And if we can’t fix it, we need to learn to embrace it. Our little ones are watching. Even when we don’t think they are, they see it.
I love these pictures and I know I’ll love them even more when I look back on them. I’m not getting any younger and I know years from now, I’ll look back and think “damn I looked good!” But I’ll also look at how cute my babygirl was. How little she was. How I’m so glad I have these pictures to look back on. In a society where so much emphasis is placed on looks, I want to show my daughter there’s more than just what’s on the outside. That it’s the type of person we are, how we treat others, and the way we feel about ourselves at the end of the day that matters.
And if I want her to believe all of that, I need to believe it myself first.