Are We Destroying the Confidence of Our Daughters?

07/24/2015 05:39 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

2015-07-21-1437518987-1505384-iStock_000004584017_Large.jpgWomen. Why are we so hard on ourselves? When did we start hating the reflection we see staring back at us in the mirror?

The more we continue to puff our faces up with fillers, change our figures to unnatural proportions and set unrealistic goals, the more we are hurting the confidence of our next generation of girls. We are tough, strong women yet we seem to be unable to accept ourselves just the way we are.

We are important role models to our daughters and their friends yet sadly, we are sending them mixed messages. When 18 year old girls are getting boob jobs when they graduate from high school and 21 year olds are getting Botox to prevent wrinkles, we have a problem. We helped create this problem. And now it's time that we help fix it.

A couple of years ago I attended a friend's wedding in Ocean City, New Jersey. They had 3 gorgeous little flower girls in the bridal party. They were adorable: the first girl was doing exactly what she was supposed to do, the second girl was slamming clumps of rose petals to the ground like a quarterback spikes a football while the third girl spent most of her time looking around like something was buzzing around her head. Did anyone think they looked silly? Of course not! We all thought they were sweet, innocent, authentic and wonderful.

At the reception, when the music started, the little girls were the first ones on the dance floor--dancing, twirling, smiling and showing COMPLETE and UNCOMPLICATED JOY! They didn't care that people were watching them or that they might look stupid when they tripped over each other. They simply enjoyed the moment.

For most women, that uninhibited joy disappears along the way. We become self-conscious and ashamed of our bodies. We look at magazine covers and say "Damn, look at her abs! Mine will never look like that." It's so ridiculous because we know the photo has been airbrushed yet we continue to compare ourselves to made-up images of perfection.

So how do we get back that joy? How do we begin to LOVE what we see in the mirror--especially when we're looking at wrinkles, a changing body and sagging skin?

It won't happen overnight but if we band together, we can accomplish anything. Join the trail blazing women at Beauty Redefined to learn how to help your daughter recognize and reject harmful messages about her body. And while you're helping her, hopefully you will embrace a new definition of beauty--one that is healthy, realistic and amazingly powerful. It's time to start the conversation.

A great group of women, all aiming at the same goal, is sheer power. We need to stop criticizing and start complimenting others and ourselves. We owe it not just to ourselves, but to the health and happiness of our daughters and grand-daughters.

Let's fight this epidemic--and let's start fighting it now.