It’s been said that a daughter’s self image is a direct mirror of her mother’s. I know this to be true. My relationship that I have with my mother is my favorite and truthfully one of the most important relationships that I have. She is not only my mother, but she is my best friend and role model. When I found out I was having a girl, it occurred to me that I would have a huge responsibility. Not only would I be a mother, but I would be the person that my daughter looks up to, models, and basically mirrors. You see, I realized in reflecting upon my relationship with my mother that I shared her personality, her parenting style, even the way she handles her marriage with my father. With that, I quickly realized that I shared her insecurities as well.
Society likes to define what a woman should be like, how we should act, what is beautiful. To be a woman in these days is overwhelming. Young girls are particularly vulnerable to society’s pressure because their minds are not fully matured and in turn young girls will look to their mothers expectations and how they view themselves. My mother has always expressed her unhappiness with her weight. She never expressed in doubting herself as a mother or a wife. She never doubted her strength as a woman or how she treated people. She did however openly express her unhappiness with her weight. I quickly realized that I don’t necessarily doubt myself as a wife or mother. I know I do my best to find inner strength in situations that I feel my weakest and I especially attempt to treat everyone with love, respect, and with an open heart. However, I do share with my mother a deep unhappiness with my weight and self image. I found that no matter what I weigh or size jeans I wear I somehow view myself as much larger then what I truly am. In looking at what I love about myself and what I dislike, I realized that I was looking in the mirror of my mother.
When I look at mother, I see this beyond beautiful woman who has outwardly perfection. My mother will tell you that there is no reason for me to dislike my size. We will never see acceptance of our weight in our own eyes though. Growing up, my mother would always tell me that she thought I was beautiful. She would always remind me that I am my own worst enemy and that I am way too hard on myself. She would constantly tell me that I was little and that I didn’t need to lose weight. She would encourage me to eat the foods I wanted. She never made me feel insecure about my weight. However, I remember thinking that if my mother thought she was big then why did she see me as tiny. We really are not much different in weight or size which led me to be very confused.
A mother’s words are monumental to a daughter. A mother telling her daughter that she is beautiful, but in the same breath accuse herself of being fat in front of her daughter is detrimental. You see, society has a a very unrealistic, very unhealthy perception of beauty that most women fall victim of. I’m sure all of us moms have heard are own mothers say, “Gosh I look fat today” or “Look at these bags underneath my eyes” and then we find ourselves saying the exact same thing. Words are powerful. Society already assaults all women on a daily basis. Why should we add to society’s assaults by attacking ourselves?
My daughter is asleep next to me as I type this and I cannot help but to notice how beautiful she is. My mind races to how I want so much for her and more than anything I just want her to see her beauty. I don’t want her to spend every day of her life judging her own appearance. I want her to be able to walk into a room and know she is beautiful. I want her to know that her weight, skin, hair, style and more doesn’t define who she is as a person. I want Emilia to know that the goodness of her own heart is what makes her beautiful. I want her to own the skin she is in and display confidence to take on this world. She is perfect in my eyes. In order for her to see her true beauty, I must start with me. I must treat and see myself the way I want her to see herself. If I spent all my energy in loving myself, then maybe my dreams of my daughter seeing her beauty just might come true.
Daughters show affection to their mother by imitation. How beautiful and loving is that? We mothers owe it to our daughters to love ourselves completely so one day they will have a chance to love themselves for some one else.