This post is created in partnership with Dove Hair.
All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.
Becoming a mom was one of the greatest blessings in my life...but it's also one of the toughest jobs I've ever been given. When my daughter was little, I had so much fun dressing her up in pink ruffles & putting satin ribbons in her hair...but I didn't fully understand the weight that my words carried until she was much older (read more here). Over the course of the last few years, we've had more & more discussions about her physical appearance & how she views herself. In every single conversation, my goal is to instill in her an unshakable confidence so that each time she looks in the mirror, she is proud of the young woman she sees staring back at her.
I'm honored to be partnering with Dove as part of their Love Your Hair Campaign - their mission is to create a conversation with mothers on how & why they should share hair positivity with their daughters. A Dove Hair study showed that 8 in 10 women feel pressure to wear their hair a certain way & another study showed that 82% of girls learn to care about themselves from their mothers. So I'm encouraging all of you who are mothers, aunts or mentors to girls to tell them why you love their hair & encourage them to embrace it by creating and sharing a custom #LoveYourHair animated message with Dove at LoveYourHair.Dove.com.
Having struggled with my own self-confidence issues as a teenager makes me all the more eager to help her avoid the battles that I fought for so many years. Earlier this year, I shared my personal hair story (here) and the way my self-esteem was impacted by the messages of what was deemed to be beautiful by society's standards. My daughter has the exact same hair that I had as a young girl & I've already heard her make statements about how she wishes her strands were thin, straight and more easy to manage. Each time, I respond by encouraging her that there is absolutely no flaw in the way she was made, that she is uniquely beautiful and that someday she will be thankful for her voluminous mane.
After 13 years of watching my little girl grow up into the mature young woman I see before me today, I have learned a few things & the conclusion I've come to is two-fold:
1) As mothers, our words matter and we should choose them wisely. We have a unique opportunity to speak truth into our daughters' lives in a way that no one else can. Even if it seems like they aren't listening or if it feels like what we are saying isn't making a difference...we have to try. It's been proven that when you repeat positive statements over a period of time, the brain starts assuming the reality of what that phrase affirms. Which means that by simply reiterating again & again to our girls that they are strong, intelligent & beautiful just the way they are will encourage them to believe that message to their core.
2) Our daughters look up to us & are watching us closely. They see our disappointment due to a bad hair day, the way we react when our jeans are too tight and the look on our face when we gaze in the mirror. Every single thing we do is having an impact and setting an example for them. Either we are showing them that beauty is more than skin deep or we are teaching them to base their self-worth on their appearance. As sobering as that thought is, it's made me take a hard look at how I am treating myself...because more than likely, it's how she will treat herself. And there's nothing I want more than for her to be confident in who she is, to be proud of how she looks & to know that she is beautiful inside & out.