Moms, Don’t Assume She Knows
By Maddie Bowser
As the mother of a daughter, there are certain things you can assume to be true. You can assume that as an infant she will keep you up at night, and as a toddler she’ll drop her food all over the floor. You can be sure that she’ll learn how to push your buttons. And you know that you’ll be wary of the young man that takes her to prom.
But, moms, don’t assume that your daughter knows she is beautiful.
It’s no secret that beauty standards are ridiculously high today. How often do you go to the movie theater and see a leading lady who isn’t sporting glossy hair and a flat stomach? Or stand in the check-out line and see an acne-ridden face splashed across the front of magazines? What about watching the Prince sweeping Miss “Crooked-Teeth” off of her feet, or crossing the sea to marry the kind-hearted soul who is 30 pounds overweight?
Exactly- you don’t! No matter how flawed and imperfect people are, Hollywood decides to defy nature and Photoshop their way to perfection. And you better believe that your daughter, whether she’s 6 or 16, is being fed a big ole’ scoop of inadequacy every time they do.
Moms, listen up. Your daughters are being programmed to scrutinize themselves. Beauty standards have hardwired themselves into their thoughts and are forcing them to dislike what the mirror throws back at them. It’s as if someone along the way decided on the “perfect” face and body and anything outside of those lines is simply less-beautiful. And, guess what? Nobody can fit inside of those lines!
Oh, what an endless cycle! The odds of young ladies believing in their own beauty are stacked greatly against them. So how are we, the mothers of these girls, supposed to fight this battle? How can we beat the Hollywood Beast and come out on top with self-confident tween daughters?
One word: intentionality.
End the search for affirmation. The older she gets, the more opportunities she will have to search for affirmation elsewhere. Don’t make her search. Hand her love and affirmation by the spoonful, so that in the face of comparison and loneliness she will never doubt. You cannot control the love others will have for her, but you love her. Make sure she knows that.
Talk about the media. Be intentional in discussing the media and asking her how it makes her feel. Share your own stories of self-doubt and comparison. Help her see the lies the media feeds her, and through this she may come to see Hollywood through new eyes.
See what God says. Spend time reading the Bible together. Tell her how much God loves her. Set up a routine of reading through His word together and setting aside verses for her to memorize and live by. Through this process, you will arm her well for any battle of self-worth she will face.
Tell her. Finally, moms, tell your daughter that she is beautiful. Tell her often. Tell her when she wakes up and when she goes to bed. Whether she’s wearing a ball gown or sporting morning breath, let her know. She needs to hear it from you. Don’t be frugal with the words “you’re beautiful”, and never assume that she already sees herself the way you see her. Tween girls are fighting a battle for beauty, and your daughter needs all the help she can get. Be the voice of encouragement that she so desperately needs!
Be intentional, moms. Your daughter is beautiful. Make sure she knows.