A few days ago, I was out with my husband and kids when my phone pinged me. “_____ has posted a link on your page” it was from my mother. I opened it to a message that read that no matter what, she loved me always. The link was to the catchy new tune by Meghan Trainor “All About That Bass.” I’m not joking when I say I bawled. See, I know my parents love me, growing up I knew it. I also knew I was a difficult kid and thought that it was a parents job to love their kids. I often told myself, “They have to love you but do they LIKE you?” I don’t know if I knew that answer. I’d like to say that they did; it was my decisions they didn't approve of. Don’t get me wrong; They're great parents, my mom and I shared a still inseparable bond. These days I know she loves me, she misses me and she’s my greatest friend. I just want to know why it matters.
Why does it matter if you have a rounder belly than most? If you’re kind and caring, who cares if you wear a size 16? When did it become okay to decide what image was acceptable for others? We are all individuals, are we not? We think for ourselves, do we not? We each fight our own battles with self-acceptance. I am teaching my daughter that she’s beautiful, that it doesn’t matter if that tooth hasn't come in yet. SMILE! “You're beautiful! Yes, you're the tallest in your class, it doesn't matter. SMILE!” It’s not just her either, my son as well. Everyday my husband and I tell our kids not only that we love them but we say “Ben, you are SO handsome!” or “Kailie, you are truly beautiful.” I NEVER want my daughter or son to wonder. To hear it some day in their 20’s and stare at their admirer in disbelief. I want my children to know, so we will set that example. People will treat you well because thats what you deserve, to be respected. To be LOVED for who you are.
It starts with us after all, doesn't it? We DO set the standard for what they tolerate as adults. We want tomorrow’s youth to be a better generation. We want to be green and environmentally conscious but what about teaching them to love and respect themselves. To appreciate others, to accept them for what they have to offer in ways of values and not for the way they look. A very dear friend of mine was told by her still boyfriend that when he broke up with her on a previous occasion, it was because she was “fat”. He then added its okay though, he’s over it now. When did that become okay? Now she's confused about her feelings- not about him, but herself? People, this cannot be our LEGACY. This must not be what we leave behind. I’m changing this for my children.
Will you do the same?