So my Mom is pretty; like really pretty. She is tall, she has great hair, and she has a great personality. She also has something, some sort of, I don't know, like pizazz or something that draws people to her. She is like the pot and the bees buzz to her. So suffice to say, I have seen my Mom receive many compliments. I have seen my Mom get hit on by nice look guys, and a lot of dirty old men. No joke.
For all her loveliness my Mom could not be more down to earth. In fact, if my Husband is going to make a fart joke he'll wait until he can tell my Mom. She'll laugh and I'll be like really? "Do I look like your Brother?" Side note, I despise bathroom humor. My Mom doesn't have a superficial bone in her body. She doesn't care about status or any of that crap. As we discussed recently, my Mom is the shit.
So you would think my Mom is all "everyone is beautiful." However, she is not that girl. I think it is because she doesn't even see it in herself. In fact, I don't think I have ever heard my Mom pay herself a compliment. I think she would say she is not unattractive, but if you called my Mom up today and asked her if she was pretty, I think she would say something like "I do ok."
Growing up I don't remember my Mom telling my Sister and I that we were pretty or to be proud of our bodies or anything that. She also didn't tell us anything mean like that we were unattractive. It just wasn't something that was discussed in our house. I think my Mom was just too busy like working, and trying to survive as a single Mom. My Mom did teach us that how you look makes a first impression and all that. I do know that to be true. Until you can show someone who you are by your actions and your words, all they have to go on is how you look. I mean this in a professional sense. It might be "wrong or unfair," but it is the world we live in. It is possible that my Mom did say things to us about how we looked and body image, but maybe I was too self conscious to internalize it.
The days of my childhood are much different from today. My Mom and I have a much different relationship now than we did when I was a teenager. If I send her a selfie of me and my daughter, she calls us pretty girls. If I send her an outfit from a dressing room, she'll tell me if something looks great on me. I'm not entirely sure how or why this all changed.
I know that I have been undergoing huge changes. I've always believed in being kind and treating others with love, but I've spent the last 8 months learning about why I should be more proactive and complimentary. I'd like to think that baby girl is learning this from me, because she tells people she thinks they look "so pretty" all the time; even Daddy. Perhaps, I am rubbing off on my Momma too.
I suppose if I had to say I wish my Mom would have told me XYZ about body image it would just be about her journey. I would love to know how my Mom grew up feeling, and how she feels about her looks/body today. I only recall hearing my Mom discuss her weight negatively, and she would ignore all the other pieces of herself. I would like to know how she has become so sure of herself.
I would like her to tell me how I can ensure that baby girl will grow up feeling secure in herself. I don't know how to teach her that. I only started feeling comfortable in my own skin when I met her Dad. I am one of the lucky girls. I have a great Husband. A Husband who makes me feel loved, and who has never ever once made me feel self conscious about my body; or the way I look. I learned to be ok with the way I looked because of how he sees me. I want more for C. I want her to find the place inside of her where she knows she is beautiful regardless of what happens in her world; but more importantly, I want her to feel strong, brave, smart, and confident. I'll do what I can to teach her these things, but something tells me I will have to feel all of those things first.
I am working on it. I am well on my way. Maybe Mom and I can learn to love ourselves together; maybe she already does. I think it is high time that I ask her.
This post is brought to you because of the lovely Brittany, at brittanyherself.com, and her August writing challenge. Welcome to day 8.