• Dear Daughter, You Are Beautiful. Don't Let Anyone Make You Feel Otherwise

    A mother pens an important message to her young child about the standards she should set for herself
    by Loraine Balita-Centeno .
  • Dear Daughter, You Are Beautiful. Don't Let Anyone Make You Feel Otherwise
    IMAGE kiankhoon/iStock
  • As early as now I want to tell you that this world is filled with people who will consistently point out your flaws, make you feel conscious about your imperfections, force you to change how you look so you’ll fit into their standards of beauty.

    You will wake up each day in a world that will bombard you constantly about this standard 24/7. You will be sharing the world with people who are completely convinced that this standard is the only standard of beauty there is and at some point you will find yourself believing it too.

    You will think you’re too fat or too skinny, you’ll feel too dark or too pale, you will worry about the scars from your legs (the ones you got that time you played in the sand with your brother and you got scratched. Remember that? Remember how fun that was?). You will get frustrated because you’ll feel you’re never skinny enough, never tall enough, your limbs are too short or too long, your legs are too chubby, your eyes too small or too big. I want you to know that these beauty standards are not real.

    There is no clear cut universal way of defining beauty because beauty comes in different shapes, sizes, colors and shades. Each woman is beautiful in her own unique way. Someday you may become different from others, you might find yourself sticking out and not conforming to other people’s standards but remember that it’s your uniqueness that will make you beautiful. You have beautiful flaws and imperfections that define your character and you should never be ashamed of them.

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    I sincerely hope that I will be able to guide you throughout life so you may grow knowing that you are more than just a bag of pretty with a nice body. Your worth as a human being is not and should never be defined by the size of your thighs, the color of your skin, or the texture of your hair.

    You are not going to be defined by other people’s beauty standards, ones that are impossible to fit into in the first place. Your life and worth as a human being will not diminish if you get blemishes on your face, scrapes on your knees, stretch marks on your thighs, or if you cut your hair short.

    I hope you will learn to love yourself enough to make your own standards of beauty and health--those that will make you feel happy, healthy, and every living cell of your body fulfilled. You will take care of yourself not to please others or to fit into their mold, but only as a form of self-love.

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    You will accept your uniqueness, and love your body, every inch of it--including its imperfections.

    I also hope that you will grow up knowing that your value as a woman goes beyond what strangers can see on the outside. There is so much more beauty you have within you, that are infinitely more valuable than a pair of flawless legs, silky hair, and wrinkle-free face. Your compassion, intelligence, strength, resilience, grit and wit are just some of the other forms of beauty you can offer the world.

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