My father was a Sheriff and farmer but I could always count on him to tell me I was pretty. There was never a trip to the hair salon or Sunday morning after getting dressed for church when he didn’t tell my sister, my mother, and I how pretty we were. He wouldn’t just say it either – he would gasp and express it. Like we just took his breath away. He also didn’t just tell us but he made others tell us, too. “Look at Stacey in her Sunday dress, mama! Isn’t she pretty?” Mom would agree and then he’d make someone at church tell us. I have a face full of freckles and I’ve always loved those little sunkissed marks. For as long as I can remember he’d tell me “You’ve got freckles on you but you’re pretty”. I never thought anything of them other than they’re pretty and they made me pretty. To this day I love my freckles and am confused when I hear how others despise theirs.
When my mom would walk out from getting dressed on Sunday mornings – hair curled and sprayed, makeup on, her scrambling to put her shoes and earrings on and get everyone in the car so we could leave for church on time, daddy would compliment her. Sometimes with a whistle added in but always so she could hear him. Most times, mom would blow him off with a grin. “Yeah, right” she’d say, as she’d turn to grab her purse, change the subject and hurry us into the car. She would return from getting a perm and daddy would compliment her and if she felt good about it that day she’d smile and say “You like it? Me too, now if I could only lose 20 lbs”.
I never really thought much of it until I got older and realized that while we were all told we were beautiful and pretty, my mother never told us how pretty SHE was. We never heard her tell us that she liked her hair, her eyes, how she looked in a certain dress. Sure, she liked ours, but she was never really happy with hers. While daddy always made me feel like a princess, in the back of my mind it was only a matter of time. In time, those looks would fade and when I became older I could no longer be happy with myself. I could no longer be pretty, be fit, be happy. Or at least that’s how she made me feel.
Mothers, this is your call to action. Your daughters are listening and paying attention. Telling them that they are beautiful or you think they are brilliant, love the way they dance, love their freckles, is simply not enough. They…WE, need to hear that you think YOU are beautiful, too. We need to know that beauty does not have an expiration date. That beauty does not fade when you get married, become a mother or pass the age of 40. That although our bodies change and our lives change, beauty still exists. There are ample opportunities and your daughters are listening. When you’re putting on your lipstick or getting dressed, take the time to acknowledge that you are beautiful. Tell them how pretty you feel from day to day and how pretty they make you feel. Take the time to compliment your daughter and yourself.
Try it. You never know – you may start believing those things too, if you don’t just yet. Compliments and self love can go a long way and you deserve to feel loved and most importantly, how can someone else love you if you don’t love yourself?
A boudoir or beauty session is about celebrating who you are just how you are. Stop putting it off and making excuses. Your daughters do not love you more when you lose those 10 pounds or get that dental surgery. They want to see you happy and want YOU to see yourself how they do. It’s time to celebrate you – so let us help you!