Monday, July 01, 2013

Big Shoes and An Even Bigger Responsibility

As a little girl, I remember going into my mother's closet and trying on her high heels. I remember thinking how fun it would be when I grew up and could wear fun and fancy shoes, put on make-up, and do all the things that big girls did. I even remember buying my first pair of high heels (of course they just had a teeny little heel) and really feeling big and grown.

I now watch my own daughter (even as little as she is) doing those same things that I used to do. She LOVES playing with mommy's make-up, wearing "listick", and walking around in my shoes. I catch her at least once a day coming out of my closet with different pairs of high heels and clomping through the house saying "Mommy, look at me!"
As I get ready every morning, she comes to my vanity, pulls out all my make-up and brushes her face and eyelids. She'll hand me certain items and say, "Here Mommy. Put on. I pretty."

Watching her do all those big girl things reminds me of what an awesome but also daunting task I have before me. In today's culture, she will be told at every turn that she's not good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, talented enough, and the list goes on and on. She won't be able to look through a magazine or watch a television show without someone promoting a product that will inevitably make her feel like she doesn't quite measure up.

As her mother, of course I want her to feel beautiful, teach her how to wear make-up, buy her first pair of high heels, and encourage her in all her princess fantasies. But I also want to instill in her a self-confidence that can withstand any criticism she may face. I want her to know that she is already beautiful and perfect just the way she is because she is unique and wonderfully made.

I have the awesome task of raising her to be a confident and self-assured woman who knows how valuable she is. But I must remember that the best way to do that is not through my words, but through my actions. I, like most women, make critical comments about my own body. I occasionally look in the mirror and criticize what's staring back at me. I buy the latest products that promise to make me more beautiful and I usually hop on the bandwagon of the latest weight loss craze that is featured on Pinterest or other media outlet.

Now I'm not saying that wanting to be beautiful or skinny is a bad thing. But as a mother to a little girl, I just need to be careful about how I react to my own body because that will affect how she reacts to hers. I want her to have a healthy attitude towards beauty and know that what she sees in the magazines is not a realistic version of beauty.

More than anything, I want her to know that she is beautiful, loved and treasured not because of the size she wears but simply because she is my daughter.