My 8-year-old is so bright and eloquent and caring and sassy and like many girls she is making the transition from little girl to tween. She had one of those days this week stuck in a dressing room at the Gap trying to find an outfit that looked right. She finally did, but when I took a picture of the family at the end of the day, she still commented, "I look fat in the picture." It's not so different from an instant a year ago when she stood in front of another dressing room mirror with me at Old Navy and said "this makes me look f-a-t." She softly spelled out each letter like she couldn't even say the word out loud. I was crushed. My wife is her confidant and reassures her and is awesome. I try to reassure her as well and share my own struggles... but I'm a guy after all. So I started thinking about how I can emphasize with my daughter the important lessons of self esteem and beauty inside and out.
Today the dadmissions BEAUTY project is born and I hope you will take heart. Thousands of women and men follow The Huffington Post. Those thousands of women and men have hundreds of thousands of friends. I hope you will consider sharing this message. I hope you will share your struggles in front of the mirror as a young girl or boy if you had them or the struggles your own kids are having right now. Maybe she can see that she's not alone and others go through the same feelings of insecurity every day.
The BEAUTY part of the BEAUTY project stands for "By Empowering And Understanding Today's Youth."
I say youth because I know there are boys her age starting to go through the same thing. I know I did. I know I still do. My daughter is becoming very conscious of what she eats and how much she exercises and that's all great... but I also need both of my girls to realize a lifetime of beauty won't always be measured by the reflection in the mirror. I'm looking to you for advice and to share the message. I'll be holding onto your stories and advice and at some point be sharing them with my daughters.
You can email me about the beauty project at email@example.com and find me on Facebook at dadmissionsthebook. You can reply to this blog post too. Most importantly, I hope you share the message and we can get the word out. I'm sure every young girl and also boy feels insecurities at one time or another... maybe the BEAUTY project can be a step into turning those insecurities around and ending the cycle of thinsecurities.