U is for Ugly

Ugly is not a word I like to use. I have three daughters and raising them is the most complicated, emotionally draining and exhausting thing to do. The term’s fat, ugly, pretty, skinny can be bullets crammed into the chamber of a gun.

As a mother, you’re their role model. So they look to you for self-esteem issues on a daily basis and how you’d react to life, physical appearance, friends and family affects them.

For years I have struggled with low self-esteem, weight and self-worth issues and I’ve tried to work on those things. I’m working on losing weight and talk to a therapist to build up my self-esteem.

But in doing so I have given my girls the impression that being  skinny is what you’re supposed to be instead of just being healthy. I try to change that by letting them know, “Hey mommy is losing weight because the doctor says I need to lose weight to be healthy. I’m not losing weight to be skinny.”uglyducklingframe

Just when I think that they all get it and that they understand, my 14 year old complemented my one-year-old by saying “you are so skinny”. I had to tell her calling someone skinny is not a compliment and calling someone fat is not an insult. As a matter fact I have the ban skinny and fat in our house. You can only say healthy or unhealthy. And those terms are not based on weight.

Society tells our daughters and tells women you have to look a certain way. You should be skinny or perfect and have perfect skin, hair, or nails. My job as a mom as their mother is to get them to understand that the women in the magazines are airbrushed, photo shopped and they in person may be beautiful but they’re not perfect. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it’s only physical.

I had a conversation with my six year old the other day where she was complementing  everyone by saying  “You are all pretty.” I told her. “It’s better to say, someone is nice, sweet, kind hearted or smart.  Pretty fades and if that is all you have in the first place than you are in trouble.

I’m teaching them things that I have learned myself that you don’t have to be perfect to be a phenomenal woman.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

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3 thoughts on “U is for Ugly

  1. I’ve struggled with weight and self esteem issues also. It takes a while to realize that being overweight doesn’t mean a person is ugly and worthless, while being underweight doesn’t always make a person healthy and attractive. Being content with where and who a person is, is most important – but it’s not easy to convince our mind to fully embrace that truth.

  2. What a great lesson you are teaching your daughters, Donnee. We all struggle with self-esteem. Women have been socialized that way through the ages. I think primarily by men to keep us in our place. Then we went along, believed it, adopted it, and use it against other women.

    The more we can break out of that mind set and focus on the person we are and the qualities that make a good person, the better. Until then, though, we have a big fight on our hands because people are out there making big money off of women’s low self esteem.

    Hang in there and keep working to help your daughters and yourself.
    xoA

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