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I've started telling my daughters I'm beautiful
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Author:  Spender [ Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:14 am ]
Post subject:  I've started telling my daughters I'm beautiful

I love this one:

Quote:
I've started telling my girls that I think I'm beautiful. It's been so easy to tell them how beautiful THEY are, because it's obvious. They are the thing beauty is made of. They are the reason we started worshipping beauty. They sparkle and dance. When they're sleeping, they turn into soft cloud babies, little perfect tufts of white on the moonlight.

There are a lot of people like me. Women who know things. Women who have seen things. Women with diseases in their livers. There are a lot of women with scars on their arms and words that carry themselves like sparrows. There are women who were too big for this town, who had their backs bent carrying things like religion and a history that originated somewhere in the crook of a branch that extended over a stream. A place where a patch of the sky was visible through the leaves, where a little girl let her bare leg dangle too far down.

There are a lot of people like me, because we're all the same. We're all blood and electricity. We're lonely under the gaze of god. We're all wet with dew and swallowing hard against DO THIS, CONSUME, SHUT UP and BE AFRAID to die.

All of you women with lines on your brow, with cracks between your fingers… it's been a long winter. All of you, you are beautiful and so am I.

The thing is, my children are perfect. I am the grown up, so I'm supposed to show them everything about life. When they wake up in the morning, though, I stare at them and they're new. They teach me everything. They are babies and they teach me what it means to be a person. It's easy to see that they're beautiful.

I am slow and I am tired. I am round and sagging. I am harried. I am sexless. I am getting older.

I am beautiful. How can this be? How can any of this be true?

I don't want my girls to be children who are perfect and then, when they start to feel like women, they remember how I thought of myself as ugly and so they will be ugly too. They will get older and their breasts will lose their shape and they will hate their bodies, because that's what women do. That's what mommy did. I want them to become women who remember me modeling impossible beauty. Modeling beauty in the face of a mean world, a scary world, a world where we don't know what to make of ourselves.

"Look at me, girls!" I say to them. "Look at how beautiful I am. I feel really beautiful, today."

I see it behind their eyes, the calculating and impression. I see it behind their shining brown eyes, how glad they are that I believe I am beautiful. They love me. To them, I am love and guidance and warm, soft blankets and early mornings. They have never doubted how wonderful I am. They have never doubted my beauty. How confusing it must have been for them to see me furrowing my brow in the mirror and sucking in my stomach and sighing.

How confusing it must have been to have me say to them, "You think I am beautiful, but you are wrong. You are small and you love me, so you're not smart enough to know how unattractive I am. I know I am ugly because I see myself with mean eyes. You are my child and I love you, but I will not allow myself to be pretty, for you. No matter how shining you are when you watch me brushing my hair and pulling my dress over my head. No matter how much you want to be just like me, I can't be beautiful for you and I don't know why."

It's working, a little bit. I've even stopped hating myself, a little bit.

I'll be what they see. They see me through eyes of love. I'd do anything for them, even this.

I am beautiful.


http://offbeatmama.com/2012/11/telling-daughters-im-beautiful

Author:  komich [ Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I've started telling my daughters I'm beautiful

Wow. Just wow.

Author:  delenda [ Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I've started telling my daughters I'm beautiful

I love this. I wonder if this idea, if applied in the correct way, could work among groups of friends.

Author:  Spender [ Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I've started telling my daughters I'm beautiful

This just hit me like a ton of bricks:

Quote:
There are a lot of people like me. Women who know things. Women who have seen things. Women with diseases in their livers. There are a lot of women with scars on their arms and words that carry themselves like sparrows. There are women who were too big for this town, who had their backs bent carrying things like religion and a history that originated somewhere in the crook of a branch that extended over a stream. A place where a patch of the sky was visible through the leaves, where a little girl let her bare leg dangle too far down.


This is us, our experience of life is valid, and everything we have survived is more proof of our knowledge and worth to the rest of the world.

I will no longer hide the ravages my ED has left on my body, and will look instead at the beauty they signify in terms of how I have started to come out the other side.

Author:  wickedrache [ Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I've started telling my daughters I'm beautiful

This is marvellous. What a challenge. Thank you for sharing this [and your response to reading it].

Author:  Spender [ Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I've started telling my daughters I'm beautiful

wickedrache wrote:
This is marvellous. What a challenge. Thank you for sharing this [and your response to reading it].


Rache!

Nothing particular to say, 'cept I love you and miss you lots!

Author:  joycelot [ Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I've started telling my daughters I'm beautiful

delenda wrote:
I love this. I wonder if this idea, if applied in the correct way, could work among groups of friends.

I think it could. I haven't tried it (I'm not quite "there" yet), but I have when it comes up in conversation with friends (which is unfortunately often), I explicitly refused to participate in body shaming. I think being bold about rejecting that kind of thing can be a powerful thing for others to see (because again unfortunately, it is so seldom done).

Author:  delenda [ Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I've started telling my daughters I'm beautiful

joycelot wrote:
delenda wrote:
I love this. I wonder if this idea, if applied in the correct way, could work among groups of friends.

I think it could. I haven't tried it (I'm not quite "there" yet), but I have when it comes up in conversation with friends (which is unfortunately often), I explicitly refused to participate in body shaming. I think being bold about rejecting that kind of thing can be a powerful thing for others to see (because again unfortunately, it is so seldom done).


I have always refused to body shame. But this is being proactive instead of reactive. Could saying, "you know what, I am beautiful. and so are you" to another woman actually be perceived positively? Unfortunately, I'd think if I heard that, I'd think "you are beautiful, yes, but I am not".

Author:  Spender [ Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I've started telling my daughters I'm beautiful

Well, Delenda, part of recovery is "fake it til you make it". If you don't say something, you'll never believe it. But if you do start telling yourself you are beautiful, it may feel ridiculous and a stupid exercise at first, then it'll kinda become old hat, but one day, maybe slowly, maybe piece by piece, you will believe it. Maybe not all it, maybe not all at once, but sooner or later: the more often you tell yourself something, the more it becomes a part of your reality.

Author:  komich [ Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I've started telling my daughters I'm beautiful

^ This. I've made a practice of saying nice things about myself...not that I always believe them..but in general I do feel more comfortable in my own skin now. I don't think I'm outright ugly anymore either even though there are parts I'm pretty critical of some days (especially in photographs...)

Author:  stellie [ Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I've started telling my daughters I'm beautiful

Wow. I loved reading this. So true. I am going to try looking in the mirror and just telling myself that i am beautiful. Hopefully it will sink in and i will start to believe it!

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