I had a conversation the other afternoon with my almost four year old daughter, Ella. We were in the bathroom, and it went something like this…
Ella: Mama, what are you doing?
Me: Looking in the mirror.
Ella: At how beautiful you are?
Me: (Pause. Receive it. Smile at my girl and her kinds words on this day with no electricity or running water.) Yes, Ella… Thank you.
While her sweet words caught me off guard, my response mattered deeply. My daughter was affirming beauty within me, something that I was having difficulty seeing. I am sure there’s not a girl on this planet that does not long to be beautiful. And in this stage of being a mama, I recognize that I have this small window of time to teach my daughter about how beautiful she is before the world tells her its standards.
The world is so harsh and often lies… It confuses our value with our size. It tells us through every glossy magazine page that the right shape, pretty face, and youthfulness are the definition of beauty. It often seduces us with the illusion of perfection which can be purchased through this product or that clothing line. It leaves little to no room for flaws or difference.
And it is too easy to fall into its traps and desire to be something other than who I am, but I want something different and better for both myself and my girl. I am convinced that how I both see and accept myself will help to determine how my daughter will also see and accept herself.
Ella’s worth and her beauty are so evident to me. I can so clearly she was made in the image of God. I pray she might discover her value in that truth, and may it be for all of the days of her life.