When you have a daughter –
Teach her to love herself, and to love her body, but not because she’s beautiful.
In fact, don’t even call her beautiful. What is beautiful, anyway? Why is it important at all? Beauty is fickle, vain and temporary. What will she cherish about herself after it fades?
You want to truly compliment her? Call her smart, call her funny and call her intelligent. Compliment her wit, her bravery, and her compassion. Let her learn to appreciate her own talents and hard work, not her genetic lottery.
Don’t tell her she needs to lose weight. Don’t tell her she’s getting too thin. Don’t comment on other women’s looks in front of her. Don’t even compliment them. Don’t you dare talk about your own body in front of your daughter, especially!
Stop telling her how thin or fit you used to be before you had kids. Stop standing in front of the mirror whining about your love handles and thighs. No. Don’t do it.
Instead, tell her and show her how to be healthy! Cook healthy meals and develop healthy habits with her. Don’t talk about the body like it was only made to please the eye, talk about the fact that it enables you to do wonderful things.
Teach her to love what her body can do. Teach her to love her legs, not because they’re long, but because how fast they can run with them. Tell her to love her arms, not because they’re lean, but because they’re strong.
It really doesn’t matter how her body looks, what matters is what it can do – Run a marathon, climb mountains, and swim the oceans!