I’m showing my daughter that true beauty comes from a multitude of directions.
Being a mom has been my most rewarding role. In fact, I can recall the first day I laid eyes on my little beauty. She was so full of life and had these bright brown eyes that pierced my soul when I stared into them. From that day forward, I made a vow to protect her, love her and be her living example. I didn’t want to just tell her about the world – I wanted to show it to her. My life had to reflect the things that were best for her, and as her mommy, I was on a mission to do just that. To me, this would mean making a conscious effort to show her that true beauty comes from many sources.
As she grew, we had mommy-daughter days full of volunteering at a local shelter, donating gently used clothing and household items, and spending quality time with one another during bi-weekly mani-pedis. We dubbed these “Princess and Mommy Days.” She loves it when we go for ice cream and people-watch. We play a game where she has to tell me one thing she likes about every person we see. For her, often it's their hair and shoes because she’s a fashion queen in the making. But my goal with this game is to show her that each person has something beautiful to offer the world – whether it’s their ability to hold a door for a stranger, offer a smile or exercise proper manners. It’s important for me to teach her that it’s less about aesthetics and more about inner beauty.
Beauty is a feeling, an energy. I often talk to her about the positive experience our energy adds to a person’s day. She is better able to grasp this concept by seeing her mom interact with others. I make it a practice to genuinely compliment others in her presence and let her see how good it makes them feel.
My advice to fellow moms is to find practical ways to instill beauty in your daughters through philanthropy, leading by example and incorporating daily affirmations – even saying them together. Have candid conversations surrounding beauty, and love on them like only Mom can. Help them live with a heart that practices the kindness they seek. We can’t allow mainstream media to affirm our daughters’ beauty, self-esteem and self-worth – we should take time to celebrate all aspects of their beauty.
So, whether you have a daughter, a niece or another young woman in your life that looks up to you, try saying this affirmation with them: “I am a bold, unapologetic beauty who will change the world one smile at a time.” My daughter loves when we say this together. It’s the way we command our day. It’s also one purposeful way that I show her how she is – and how all black women are – beautiful inside and out.