Teaching My Daughter She's Beautiful

I love music—from R&B and country to Christian and hip hop. My tastes are all over the place, but one of my all-time favorite artists to listen to is India Arie. I love that her music is so empowering and uplifting when so many singers these days have chosen to go the route of provocative and explicit.

The other day, I was listening to her song Beautiful Flower and was nearly brought to tears. (I’m quickly learning that tearing up at any and everything is a little talked about byproduct of becoming a mom.) If you haven’t heard the song, you must check out this video and really listen to the lyrics. The song's about teaching girls that they’re beautiful and powerful. Valuable and brilliant. I’m already envisioning a video montage set to it for little Christiana’s Sweet 16 party.

The song really tugs at me because it reminds me of the big role I will have in shaping my children’s perception of themselves, particularly my daughter. This is no small job, either. In a culture where beauty sells, millions of dollars are spent in the vain pursuit of perfection (heck, I have a few things I wouldn't mind getting done) and women are routinely degraded across all forms of today’s “entertainment,” maintaining a positive self image can be challenging.

I should know. I’m the one whose initial instinct is to pick out all the flaws in my pictures or who can hardly pass a mirror without spotting something that I wish I could change. These days, I’m constantly complaining about how my clothes are too tight. (This is extremely hilarious given that I once ran out of a dressing room in near hysterics after trying on dress after dress that was too big and realizing I’d have to wear a size 0. It's funny now, but I'm pretty sure that I’d convinced my new hubbie that I was deranged as I railed on and on about how I had the body of a child and being petite sucked.)

It all makes me realize that as my little girl continues to grow, before this crazy world gets a chance to shape her, she’s going to be watching me and listening to me. Teaching her to see herself as the perfect, beautiful person that God has created her to be means modeling that belief myself through my words and actions.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say this is all a bit intimidating to me given my own struggles with insecurities over the years. However, when faced with the alternative—raising a daughter who doesn’t require others to value her because she doesn’t value herself—it’s not a responsibility I’m willing to relinquish.

After adding three kids to the mix, Kacey Bess quickly realized she’d have to be more intentional about homemaking and parenting before her little ones staged a coup. Trading in nights on the town for fixing boo boos and whipping up cheap dinners, Kacey now writes about the joys and pains of her homemaking journey on her blog Well-Rounded Home

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