Your influence as a mother is powerful because often, there are little eyes watching every move you make, and little ears that hear every comment and conversation you have with yourself and others.
We want to teach our children how to be kind and say nice things to others, but rather than tell them, we often show them how it’s done. We lead by example and hope our children will be influenced by our actions.
One mum has shared a personal post on Facebook, of how she came to realise being an example to her daughter is so important when it comes to body image.
Brittney Johnson relayed a simple shopping excursion with her daughter and how it turned into a lesson for herself (and all of us). She had an epiphany that we live by example when it comes to manners and being kind to others, but we don’t always do so well when it comes to body image.
This mama shares an important message on how us mums need to be an example to our children in all areas of life, including body image. Every girl deserves to know she is beautiful, no matter her size, and the only way we can do that is to accept the body we have, love it and hope that our daughters do the same with their own bodies. Because they are watching and they will imitate, so we have to be the example they need to see.
The post has resonated with many mums and has been shared over 120k times on Facebook.
Here’s Brittany’s post in full.
When we walked into the mall, my girl had her purse, her fancy shoes and her pretty dress on. “Don’t forget my sunglasses! Oh I gotta take my baby doll in with us!” So we did. All diva. All the time. She made conversation with the guy at Starbucks even after I tried convincing her it is not called Starburst and they do not have candy. We had dinner where she told the lady “please” and “thank you” and “I just love your hair!”.. She high fived the attendant on her way off of the carousel and gave her two extra tokens to a little girl waiting on the side. We walked into Target and she helped me pick out a few swimsuits. We picked out 11. Yeah. ELEVEN. Walked into the dressing room and she sat down her baby and started unhooking the swimsuits from the hangers and yelling “I can see your butt!” for the whole dressing room to hear.
And then I put on a suit, and then a second one, and a third one. I snapped pictures of them to send to my girlfriends and say “yes or no?!” because girls are wired weird and that’s just what we do.. And then I snapped this one. See that sweet baby girl in the corner? With half a dress on and one of the bikini tops I had picked out? I stopped for a second to see what she would say and when she turned to the mirror, she said “Wow I just love cheetah print! I think I look beautiful! Do you think I look beautiful too?!”..when it hit me that she only says what she hears. What she sees. I tell her that she is beautiful every single day. She is kind walking through the mall, because I tell her she is kind everywhere else. She is polite at the order counter because she hears me when I’m polite to strangers everywhere. She gives compliments to people she doesn’t know because she loves how it feels when she hears them.. And when we are in a dressing room, with swimsuits of all God forsaken things, there is a split moment when I have the power to say “wow I have really gotten fat this year” OR “wow I love this coral color on me!” And those are the words burned into my daughters brain.
When it comes to manners, be an example.
When it comes to kindness, be an example.
And when it comes to body image, be an example. I am not a size zero. I never will be. I have big thighs and a huge rump and for some reason the middle of my body gets more tan than the rest? But this body made a whole other body. I am strong. I am able. And I am happy. I don’t have to be beautiful like you, because I am beautiful like me. And as my daughter gets older, and she faces judgement and criticism, I will always remind her that the girls who look the prettiest in a two piece, or a body suit, or a freaking Snuggie, are the ones who are happy. Because that’s ALL that matters. And I want her to look at herself every single day and say “Oh wow! I think I look beautiful!” because EVERY girl deserves to feel that.