As moms, we know that giving our daughters the right message about body image should start at an early age. We tell our daughters that they are beautiful. We tell them not to strive for unrealistic standards of beauty. And we tell them that every girl is beautiful in her own way.
A stranger at the playground tells us how much our daughters look like us and we thank them.
And then we look in the mirror and mumble about how much we hate our mousy hair or joke about our thunder thighs.
So despite the words that are coming our of our mouths, here is what our daughters hear:
"I look like mom and mom doesn't think she is beautiful. Therefore I must not be beautiful either."
We don't need to brag about our looks. But we do need to stop focusing on our own flaws if we ever want our daughters to feel good about their bodies. We need to stop complaining about how big our legs look in a skirt and focus on how strong they are.
And every now and again it's OK to look in the mirror and take pride in what we see - whether it's our sparkling blue eyes or our long fingers, or that hint of a bicep that's starting to peek out from all of those mornings at the gym.
The message is loud and clear. When we accept our own bodies, our daughters will learn to do the same.
Related posts on MNN:
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.