…On Mondays, we love and rally.
We Must Fortify Our Young Girls With Self Love
When I was a young girl, I was afraid of getting fat. Kids made fun of me for being ugly – and I learned that my self-worth was tied to my looks. Not my brain. Not how clever I was. I was supposed to be nice and I was supposed to be pretty. And then every advertisement, show, and magazine cover made me feel like I was not OK. I hated myself at a very young age. Can you relate?
I feel like almost every single woman can look back and pinpoint the moment. The moment that they learned to hate themselves. The moment they felt unworthy of love. The moment where they first started to “fix” themselves for others’ approval.
When I think about this now, it breaks my heart. How do we immunize our girls from these messages? How do we fortify them with self love so that they’re resistant to that kind of messaging and pressure? Because we literally have to pour it into them, because these messages are like a cultural tidal wave that just hits them in the gut.
I believe the only way to protect them is to teach them self-love practices early on. And to build them up. Teach them to be aware of “beauty shaming,” as I’ll call it. And to actively resist these messages. And when it gets hard to resist, because it will, to be gentle with themselves.
I see self love as a fortification and almost like an inoculation for our young girls. We explicitly work to immunize our daughters and our girls and the young people coming up against this message and pressure to engage in self hatred and make self hatred a lifestyle. Imagine how the world would change if we raised a generation of daughters who loved themselves?
Another way to fortify them against these messages is to live by example. A friend was telling me about her son. She is a successful entrepreneur whom I admire greatly.
She was telling me that the other day, her son picked up some money off the floor, and he said, “Oh look, Mommy. I can use this to start my company.” Both his father and mother are entrepreneurs. He’s five years old, and what does he think when he finds money is like, “This is my start up fund. I, too, would like to have a company.” It’s so sweet, right?
When you live in a particular environment, of course you pick up those values. This is how we fortify our children. It’s what they come up in. It’s not just what we tell them. It’s what they come up in.
So what can you do to help guide our next generation of young people toward self-love and self-care practices? What can you do to inoculate them against messages of self-hate? I’d love to hear your thoughts.