I love you so much.
There is an ever waging war that pits girls and women against their own body image and confidence. Sadly, it seems girls are at the heart of this war. They judge each other harshly, whether they keep it internally or externalize it matters not, because it happens. They all know it happens. The majority of them join the tearing down of other women, while secretly being unsatisfied with their own body, beauty, and love of self.
It breaks my heart. It especially hurts to know that you will grow up in a culture where you will at times question your own looks, body, and beauty. This ever waging war leads to so many painful side effects. This war can lead women to eating disorders like, anorexia and bulimia. It can cause girls and women to seek physical pain in dealing with their self-hatred, like cutting themselves. It can even lead to suicide…
It doesn’t have to. You do not have to join the war. You can rise above it, and frolic in self-love with the realization that you are perfect. Here is a simple fact; you are 100% unique. No one else on this earth looks exactly like you. You were perfectly made by God, and are a blend of your mother and me. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to try and look like anyone else. There is no reason to want to be anything other than you. You are you, and you are beautiful.
This war on women, carried out by other women, has always been around since the beginning of time. Yet, over the last 20-40 years – depending on when you read this—it has taken a nasty turn, with the battle becoming more gruesome.
Unfortunately, part of the reason is men, and another part is advertising. Men like beautiful women, and sex sells in advertising. After years and years of ads in print and on the television showcasing “sexy” women, the “ordinary” women begin to think they must look like that in order to attract men. There are so many things wrong with that line of thinking.
First, “beautiful women” is a subject definition with each man’s definition being different. Have you ever heard; beauty is in the eye of the beholder? It’s true. Men are just as unique as you and every other woman out there. There are men who like short girls, tall girls, skinny girls, fat girls, shapely girls, athletic girls, blonde girls, brunette girls, mean girls, shy girls, funny girls, dark skinned girls, freckled girls, green eyed girls, smart girls, stupid girls, outgoing girls, shy girls, motivated girls, snobbish girls, OCD girls, nurturing girls, needy girls, and the list goes on, and on, and on, and on, and then on some more, and just when you think it’s done, it goes on and on forever. So how can a picture of some tall barely clothed woman possibly represent a “beautiful woman” to everyone, or even a handful of men? It cannot and will not.
Secondly, these women that are plastered all over the internet, magazines like Cosmo, People, US, and many more, are nothing but digital likeness paintings of an ordinary girl. They airbrush their skin to make it look perfect. No one has perfect skin. They digitally remove cellulite, and shrink hips, arm flab, and suck cheeks in. They totally erase the normalcy and present a fantasy. No woman looks like the women that grace these advertisements, because they do not and cannot possibly exist.
Thirdly, there is no “ordinary” women, and no “sexy” women. At least not any that all men can agree upon. Again, what one person thinks is sexy, might only apply to just that person.
Here is my advice to you sweetheart… block out all of the external noise of what others say about what women should look like. Focus on your desires and what makes you happy, comfortable, and allows you to be free. Being free in a society that is always trying to define you, box you in, and label you is the most amazing feeling. It allows you to be invincible, where the ugly, bad, and horrors of this world just bounce right off of you. If you feel like you need to lose a few pounds, whether it’s to feel healthier, or you want to feel comfortable, then make sure it is for you and no one else. Your opinion about your body, and beauty is all that matters, but you have to make sure it’s coming from you and not society.
True beauty is within, Winslow. I love your mother’s heart. I love her compassion. I love her creativity. I love her nurturing ways. I love her strength. I love her slowness to anger, and quickness to understand. I love her intellect, and the value she brings to complex conversations. I love her ability to empathize and see the good in those that it is very well hidden. (more at “Finding Love Again“) I love so many things about her, and honestly… her external beauty comes after all of those internal values. She is a gorgeous woman, and sexy (sorry, but true), but I love her. I love her… all of her. There is so much more to her than the outer shell. Without the internal qualities of beauty, she would be nothing but a mannequin. Do you see why looks matter so little? Do you see why beauty is not something society can define?
I will be the first to admit that your mom and I are biased in calling you beautiful. You are beautiful. You bring us so much joy. You are so smart, already. Your smile is infectious. Your energy is entertaining. Your eyes are gorgeous. You are so incredibly perfect; I often wonder how you are mine.
If you want to be more beautiful, then shower the world with kindness and love. Care for others, help others, put them before yourself. Push the boundaries of your own comfort levels and experience the world. Crave knowledge and wisdom. Seek understanding and cast away judgement like the nasty disease it is. Love. Simply love. That is beautiful and will forever be beautiful. God knows our hearts, so let God see the beauty within yours.
I love you my beautiful daughter!
Love always and forever,
More from Letters to My Daughter #atozchallenge
Letter A= Amazed & Altered
Letter B= Boys, Boys, Boys
I just wanted to thank all of you that have commented your kind words, liked posts, and even shared my words with the world. It means so much! I love have a community in which to share and support, will receiving support as well. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Pass the word, and encourage others to give their children treasures like this, #letters2mydaughter or #letters2myson, because life can be cut short, but our words can remain.
Thank you again, and much love!
~ J. L.