Being My Beautiful Self

This post is part of the and Dove #YMCBeautifulYou program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.

Trio of girls

My youngest daughter stood in front of her sister's full length mirror on her first day of kindergarten and said to her reflection,

Oh my goodness, I feel so beautiful. 

She feltbeautiful because she was proud, happy, and excited. 

Beauty for her is a feeling you give yourself, not one that you wait for others to give. 

I hope my girls always think of beauty in that way. 

Mom and noelle dove

When I was younger, I let other people tell me what my beauty should be and how I should feel about it.

And so many times, I didn't feel good enough.

It took me too long to figure out where to find my beauty, because I was looking in the wrong places.

It was there, in my successes and friendships and relationships. 

It still is.

And I'm doing my best to show my daughters the secret to finding theirs.

I want them to know without doubt that beauty is found in their minds and hearts and in the way they treat people and the world around them. 

I want them to know that nothing and no one can take it from them. 

Mom and paige dove

According to a Dove Global Study (2010), 72% of girls today feel pressured to be beautifuland over 60% of girls avoid certain activities because they feel bad about their looks. These numbers weigh heavily on my mind, because I was one of those stats. I don't want my daughters to be. 

I know it won't be easy. I know they will face outside pressures and inside voices telling them what beauty looks like. I know it has to begin with me. 

Now at 40, I am facing a new wave of outside pressures and inside voices telling me what beautiful should be, and I have to show my daughters that I can live in my skin with confidence. 

We know that27% of women believe you have to be young to be beautiful. My girls see beauty when they look at me, and I have to assure them that I see it in myself, too.

I am thrilled to be participating in a series of Self-Esteem Workshops that Dove is hosting in the month of October across Canada. The workshops are geared towards mothers and daughters, to help start a conversation about confidence and beauty.

Moms will leave with tools and resources to help foster self-esteem in their daughters. And girls will feel valued and empowered with knowledge to help them embrace their own unique beauty and face day to day challenges with confidence. 

To start the conversation with my girls, I asked them to tell me why they think I'm beautiful.

It's not an easy question to ask anyone, and asking my daughters made me especially nervous. Hearing what they see, when they look at me, would help me understand how they see themselves. And I wanted to hear they saw a beauty that went beyond my appearance. 

When they look at me, they see my intelligence, my kindness, my gestures of love. 

They see pieces of themselves in me, and they are proud to have them.

Start the conversation with your daughters. Ask them why they think you're beautiful. Talk to them about how it made you feel. And then tell them where you see their beauty when you look at them.

Because they need to hear it, and they need to hear it from you. 


Did you know YMC is hosting 25 free Dove Mom and Daughter

Self-Esteem Workshops across Canada?

Join us to start the conversation with your daughter about the real meaning of beauty.

Then visit the ‘How To Find Your Own Unique Beauty’ page for inspirational stories

and resources to help young girls learn about true beauty.

We need you to be a part of the Dove mission to improve the self-esteem of over 15 million girls

by 2015.

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Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and content editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They have been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health, Woman's Day, and Flow magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.