Link to Hello Darling on your blog!

<a href="http://www.mops.org/mom" title="Hello, Darling"><img src="http://www.mops.org/images/blog-share.jpg" alt="MOPS International blog" /></a>

Thanks for subscribing!

Get ready for a weekly digest of great stuff from our site!

Don't worry, if you get tired of us you can unsubscribe any time from your email preferences.

Whoops, we couldn't subscribe you

We have to know your email to subscribe you, so check that you're logged in or enter it in the box below.

If you don't have account yet, it is super easy to make one!

Whoops, we didn't quite catch that.

We don't allow anonymous comments, so check that you're logged in.

If you don't have account yet, it is super easy to make one!

25 Things I Tell My Daughters About Their Bodies

by Alexandra

reality

February 24, 2014

25 Things I Tell My Daughters About Their Bodies

Four girls, four different body types, hair color and texture, athletic ability. And one mother who goes into a sweat at the thought of body image issues. I try to give them all kinds of words about what it means to be beautiful and specifically how uniquely stunning each one of them is. And I know I am fighting against the tide. That over and over in ways I’m oblivious to, they are getting intended and unintended messages about how their bodies should be. Here is a 90-second view of the messages all around us appropriately titled Onslaught: 

Hello, darling, it’s overwhelming, right?

But the good news I hear over and over is that parents are the number one influence in a child’s life in all areas, including body image. So I try every day. And I’m talking EVERY DAY to give my girls messages that counter the onslaught. That focus on what their bodies are made for and what really shapes how beautiful they are. Here are 25 messages I try to squeeze in on a regular basis:

25 things I tell my daughters about their bodies and what it means to be beautiful:

  1. Beauty involves more than your body.
  2. I love the way your face looks when you smile.
  3. God made our bodies so we can do great things.
  4. Look at how long your arms are getting, you are growing every day!
  5. Show me how you jump. You’re so good at that.
  6. Hugs and kisses are meant to be gentle, not hurt.
  7. You’re making a healthy choice with that snack.
  8. I love the way you snuggle with your sister when you’re sleeping, your arms all intertwined. Your friendship is beautiful.
  9. Tall is great. So is short.
  10. I color my hair because I like how it looks. I have choices.
  11. Your legs are getting strong from all of that running at soccer practice.
  12. Its official, our family has blue eyes.
  13. You are made in God’s image. Which means you uniquely reflect him.
  14. Please don’t use your leg as a weapon.
  15. We want to be as healthy as possible, not as thin as possible.
  16. I love every freckle on your face. Every. One.
  17. That shirt is flattering. It looks great on you.
  18. There is no point in comparing yourself to your sisters. Nobody wins that game.
  19. No one else in the world is exactly like you. I love that!
  20. You have thick hair like me. You will love it someday. I promise.
  21. It’s so fun to watch you run fast. Run! Run!
  22. God made you that way, so it must be a good thing.
  23. Your bodies will change as you get older. Mine did. And it changed again after each of you was born. Totally worth it.
  24. Beauty is about all of you. Your spirit, your heart, your personality, your body. ALL of you.
  25. You. Are. Beautiful.

 

Bio: Alexandra Kuykendall is the author, The Artist’s Daughter: A Memoir. While she spends most of her days washing dishes, driving to and from different schools and trying to find a better solution to the laundry dilemma, she manages to snatch minutes here and there to write about the quest for purpose in it all.

If you were to add to this list, what else would you tell your daughters about body image?

Share your thoughts

Don't try to be like anyone else (read, your sister). God made you for a specific purpose. Be the best you that you can be.

Reply

Just like the little girl in the photo, my daughter and I used to stand in front of the mirror when she was younger and discovered the vascular birthmark on her face that she was born with. I used to tell her "God made you special and He loves you very much, and so do I." Even though my daughter is older, she still struggles with self esteem. From a mother that knows, always tell your daughters that it is beautiful to be different.

Reply

I love this too! I would add - just because someone else did it to their body, doesn't mean you have to as well. If I were told that when I was younger, I would have saved myself many arguments with my parents on the 'why can they...and why shouldn't I' stuff.

Reply

I love this list. I'm going to print it, to remind me of ways to boost my girls' image. My oldest daughter is 11 and a healthy weight, yet she still thinks she's fat. It makes me so sad that she's so young and thinks this way.

Reply