Tell your daughter she is smart. Tell her she’s interesting. Tell her she’s funny. When she plays with makeup and says, ‘Now I’m pretty!’, tell her makeup is just for fun. When she sees you exercising, and asks you why, tell her it is to be strong and fast. When she comes to you in a pretty dress and asks, ‘Mommy, do I look beautiful?’ Tell her she was beautiful before the dress and still is, but that she is also smart. And interesting. And funny. Tell her so many times that you forget the meaning. And when the day comes that she repeats those words back to you, you will be reminded.
Build her a foundation of self worth that doesn’t revolve around beauty or size. Read her books filled with women who say no. Show her movies with girls that get there on their own. There is never skinny, no diet, nor fat. There is only healthy and smart and happy.
When you’re never told you’re anything but beautiful, you are molded to believe that you are nothing without it. So when the beauty fades- the body rounds and the face wrinkles- you begin to believe you are fading. Your whole life was spent challenging the mirror on the wall, believing in its power, letting it define you, until soon the mirror begins to win.
Don’t let the mirror win. You’re smarter than that.
And wonderfully interesting.
And incredibly funny.