When I was growing up, any and all of my insecurities came from what I thought I wanted to look like but did not look like. My mom was the most encouraging woman I could have asked for and always told me how beautiful she thought I was. But it took a really long time for me to see that for myself. Especially in my pre-teen and teen years, I obsessed over beauty rituals and went through phases of trying to find the perfect products that would make me look just right or wear an obscene amount of concealer to cover up what I thought my imperfections were.
When I was a child and my mom told me I was beautiful, I thought that she was just telling me that because she was…you know, my mom—and that’s the kind of stuff moms tell you (like when they tell you that you can sing but you really can’t). But what I realized now is that she really believed I was beautiful. And she wanted me to believe it, too.
Now in my mid-30’s, it’s taken me a while to really be comfortable in my skin. I’m not 100% there yet, but I'm the most comfortable I’ve ever been. As a mother of two girls, I think about constantly how I’ll convey the idea of beauty to them and how I’ll make sure they feel beautiful no matter what they actually look like. Here are a few things I think I’ll tell them…
-Beauty is relative. It’s not about looking like a celebrity, a model, or the prettiest girl down the block. It’s about being funny, charming, smart, talented (or whatever strengths you have)—and owning it.
-Wash your face every day. Or don’t. There are no set rules on how your beauty routine should go. It just has to make sense to you.
-Sometimes we just want to fit in, and we want to be normal. But please strive to be more than just normal.
-Treat yourself well and you’ll look and feel well.
-Expensive things don’t make you more beautiful. (I never splurged on fancy products and spent the last 25 years of my life washing my face every day with a Dove Beauty Bar.)
-You will go through phases of wanting to look like someone else, until you’ll finally realize that looking like yourself actually is the coolest thing. Because no one else looks like YOU.
Just like lots of habits, beauty habits and advice are often passed down from generation to generation. In fact, a recent Dove survey revealed that most women trust the women in their lives more than celebrities for beauty tips and advice. And I hope every generation just gets stronger, more accepting of themselves, and more confident in their own beauty—like this family featured in the Dove Beauty Stories: Four Generations film.
What's something that you've been taught about beauty that you'd pass onto your kids?
P.S. If you like hearing and sharing your idea of beauty, you can share your #BeautyStory and celebrate the real women who inspired it.
This post is brought to you in collaboration with Dove—a brand I have been using as long as I can remember. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and original content like this for Oh Joy.