This won’t be pretty. But you do need to hear it because it’s not only screwing with your love life, it’s contributing to a whole new generation of women who are still being emotionally suffocated, my daughter included.
Wednesday morning my daughter and women all over broke my heart. It was her school’s picture day… I love those days when she’ll still let me fix her hair.
So I asked her to relax and open her mouth to smile and laugh naturally.
No matter how many times I asked she would not show her teeth to smile. ????
Finally it occurred to me that she was hiding her teeth. I then asked her what the problem was until she confessed she didn’t like her teeth because they were too big.
I got angry, really freakin angry, because I immediately knew why she thought this.
I questioned her about why first to confirm what I thought had happened. And she did.
While we were in Mexico this summer, her two front teeth started to come in. A friend’s mother innocently (or maybe not so innocently) commented that she hated her teeth so much as a child because they were so big and crooked when they came in.
Oh, and that my daughter’s two front teeth were going to be really big too.
My daughter has been hating her teeth ever since, and I did not know.
It took me 10 minutes to undo the damage of one woman hating on herself in front of my girl. I was finally able to convince her to smile and show her pearly whites. (She looks so pretty in the pic on the right!) ????
But how many more women do I have to undo the damage from?
As a Romantic Fairy Godmomma, I hear women constantly hating on themselves. Criticizing their body and other aspects of themselves, as if they are required to do so. (By the way, this is not sexy under any context. Most men find it quite annoying, even eventually exhausting, when they are trying to get to know you romantically. And don’t get me started about how harmful it is if you are already in a relationship!)
But it is so burned into our culture that even off duty, I can’t go anywhere without running into it.
In my household you will NEVER hear me criticize my body. I refuse to hate on myself in front of my daughter, even in my most insecure moments, because it DOES NOTHING for her or for me. (Oh, and understand that EVERY woman has her insecurities. Even the superest of the super-models do, because this shit is INSIDIOUS. And no I am not immune, but I don’t let it continuously dictate how I show up in the world.)
IT IS NOT OUR OBLIGATION AS WOMEN TO HATE, USE SELF DEPRECATING COMMENTS, OR APOLOGIZE FOR WHO WE ARE OR HOW OUR BODY LOOKS IN ORDER TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD.
You will not be arrested or sent to ‘She loves herself too much jail’ if you stop doing this.
And as your Romantic Fairy Godmomma, I am obligated to tell you that it doesn’t make you more attractive to men. In fact, with mentally stable guys it actually pushes them away. (I can’t tell you how many stories I get from women who tell me that men compliment them about how sexy it is that she feels good in her own skin.)
But more importantly it actually undermines not only you, but the rest of our sisterhood. It’s time we understand that this isn’t a benign habit.
It really is okay for you to be okay with, or EVEN LIKE yourself. Now I know this isn’t necessary the easiest endeavor for every woman. I know you’ve heard a lot of shit in your life. I certainly have. We all come with baggage. I’ve been called a fat, ugly cow. My dad told me I wasn’t pretty, and yeah, there’s a hell of a lot more I could tell you about.
And I am not in any way discounting what has happened to you.
But what has happened doesn’t determine your future. You determine your future. And you can change those ugly thoughts that run interference on your confidence. It might be a slow journey, and for some of you it will take longer than others, but it is a journey you absolutely, without a doubt should take.
It starts with how speak about ourselves. Truthfully we can’t always control the thoughts that come into our head, we can however 100 percent monitor the words that come out of our mouths. And if YOU REFUSE TO MONITOR THESE WORDS, THEN YOU ARE REFUSING TO CHANGE HOW YOU FEEL AND THINK ABOUT YOURSELF.
The bonus is (and I know this from personal experience), a woman will have a better self image the less willing she is to say anything negative out loud about her body and herself. (Yes, I still have insecurities that creep up on me, BUT they never HOLD me hostage permanently.)
Most of all Lovergirl, can we please stop the self-hating madness already? It’s not really a requirement in the ‘How To Be A Woman’ handbook. And if you can’t do it for yourself right now, do it for our girls.
Who is with me?
My daughter and I had a conversation on the way to school about the fact that regardless of what other people say, we get to choose how we feel about and love ourselves. She was totally on board. I think it’s a conversation we will have to revisit over the years. I’ll keep you updated 😉
This is an extraordinarily important topic. I would like you to share this post with as many women as possible. Copy the url above, post on facebook, twitter, send it to your girlfriends, etc. Yes I am straight up asking you to spread this message, alone I can do very little. With you on the other hand… the possibilities are endless.