I would have to say that my childhood was a little exceptional. I loved running barefoot outside and feeling the warmth of the sun shine down on me. My biggest problem at the time was that my mom didn’t let me watch TV that day and I had to go to bed early.
Something eventually shifted, and I noticed my body. And I did not like it or deem it acceptable. And that was the beginning of my five year battle with ED-NOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified). I could tell you all the horror stories and emotional agony my eating disorder has brought upon me. But I don’t want this to be a sob story because in reality, I have learned so much about myself and the world through my eating disorder. I want this to be a story that will help parents as well as others to prevent the downfall of our future daughters.
It starts when we are young: girls are always complimented on their looks whereas young boys are encouraged in their character.
What if we put aside the compliments that we give young girls and instead get to know them for who they are and encourage them to be lively, passionate, kindhearted leaders? What if, instead of putting value on their aesthetic appearance, we take that time to show them the value of patience, kindness, leadership, humor, and self-worth?
I believe that our daughters would be more empowered and have a higher sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy. Imagine how much our world would be different if we had women who saw themselves as worthy and acceptable. Imagine what the world could be like once women finally stop fighting to create a body that is deemed beautiful by society.
Those of you who find shame in your body need to know that you are worthy and deserve so much in life. Stop hating what your body is not doing for you and start loving it for what it is doing for you. Accept your body as it is right now and love it unconditionally.
Those of you who have daughters or plan to have daughters stop putting their value in how they look and really look at your daughter for who she is. Uplift her to be a strong and confident women. Compliment her when she shares with a friend, not when she wears the pretty dress you just bought her. When we start to really see our daughters for more than their appearances that is when change happens. That is when young girls stop dreaming about just being the princess in the story, but also the prince who saves the princess. Let’s teach our daughters to be the next generation of leaders who are confident and love themselves.