I can’t say I was a beauty queen before having three kids, but after each one, I’ve noticed more lines on my face, deeper bags under my eyes, and more sagging of my, well, everything. Maybe it’s more time’s fault than my kids’, but either way, I’m aging. We all are, and isn’t that a glorious thing? But, of course, there’s that looming inner pressure I became acquainted with in early childhood, pushing me to cultivate a certain type of unattainable beauty that will always be just beyond my reach. That evil, little voice starts early; it does.
Having kids has given me a confidence, and more of an “I don’t care” attitude about my appearance that I wish I’d adopted sooner. Sorry, not sorry. I ask myself which is worse: Beating myself up for being stuck with features I can’t change or embracing and loving myself, “flaws” and all, right now.
The thing is, I am beautiful.
You might not think so by looking at me, but I am, and you are, too. Sometimes I shrug it off when someone tells me I’m beautiful just like everyone else is, because we can’t all be beautiful, can we? Well, we really can, and we actually are.
We are all beautiful creations, each one a completely unique masterpiece.
I see my grandma, and think she’s gorgeous. I see my friends, my sister, my mom, mother-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, cousins, and truly believe they are all beautiful, each one of them. I see my daughter, and hope she never doubts her beauty the way I have for so many years. It would break my heart if she tortured herself so relentlessly and so pointlessly. I’d bet your mom feels the same, so knock it off.
Our own kids give us more grace than we give ourselves. When I wake up with 80’s male rockstar hair, an over-sized, holey t-shirt from 1998, the look of I-got-one-hour-of-sleep-last-night, and I walk into my kids’ rooms, they light up. They smile, because they see me. They SEE me. I know my kids view me as beautiful, just as your kids see you. Even if they play with the extra fat on your belly, and tell you they like how it feels like play dough, or they tell you your teeth aren’t very white, or your face looks tired, they will always think you are perfect just the way you are.
No matter what the scale says, which plastic surgeries from which you believe you could benefit, which features you loathe about yourself, which voices you have playing on repeat from years of opinions and assumptions about your looks, you are perfect just the way you are right now.