I shared in an Instagram post a little while back about my struggle over body image, specifically body hair. To recap if you aren’t feeling like clicking on that link, here is what I said,
“When I was young (I’m talking like 8), I wore a sweater 24/7. Not just in the winter but in the blazing hot summer. Finally I talked to my mom about my insecurities. My arms. We waxed them and although it hurt so bad that I shook and cried, I was so happy after. I finally looked like the other girls!
Jr. High came and I had not waxed in a while. A girl came up to me and made a comment about those hairy arms of mine. All my insecurities came back. I kept my arms tightly folded all day and shaved them that night.
This started a long cycle of shaving them almost nightly for years. The thing with shaving is that the more often you do it, the darker and thicker your hair grows back.
How sad is it, that at such a young age, i was ashamed of my body and my Hispanic culture.
I don’t know when it happened but I got over it. I shave occasionally but not for aesthetics as much as for comfort. My hair is not as thick as it use to be because I shave so rarely. I am happy with myself because I know that those hairs represent where I came from.💖
How silly is it that we make others insecure about something as small as the color or thickness of the hair that grows on our bodies. C’mon guys, there are more important things out there.”
I wanted to talk more about the motherhood aspect of positive body image. More about how we, as mothers, see ourselves will affect the way our children look at themselves. While the outside world and other factors have played a part in my on and off struggle to love myself, I know that if my home life had been different, I would be 100x worse off than I have been. Growing up, I knew of nothing but loving myself. My mom radiated (and still does), self love and self appreciation. I cannot think of one instance growing up that I heard her say, “I look fat” “These pants looks horrible on me”, etc. Now did she ever think these things? I would certainly bet that she did. As I got older and we became friends, I learned of her struggles with body image and could only love her more knowing that she kept them away from us. I assumed this was the norm, this way of growing up. It wasn’t until I had several friends explain their differences in childhood memories that I realized how blessed I have been. It wasn’t until then that I realized that I need to watch myself when I am thinking out loud and ultimately change my thinking patterns before it is too late. “It isn’t about just yourself anymore.”
Children pick up so much more than we realize. I am pretty sure I heard Tahlya say “Oh shit” today, and she isn’t even two yet! That being said, they are absorbing every single word that comes out of your mouth and every single move you make. You can’t say, “I’ll make a change when they are older” because you are setting their thinking patterns from the moment they are BORN.
I am hairy, and I am okay with that now. I know that the way I talk and feel about body hair is going to be key to Tahlya either embracing or hating her own body hair. Because let’s face it, shes 3/4 Hispanic, she is going to have body hair.
I weigh more than I did before I was pregnant and I am learning to be okay with that. I know that they way I talk and feel about weight is going to be key to Tahlya either embracing or hating her body no matter what the number on the scale is.
I could go on and on but you get it right?
Moms and Dads, it is up to us to determine the strength of the next generation. If we radiate self love and self appreciation the way that I watched my mother do for all those years, we have the chance to change the future generation’s self image. (Boy parents, you aren’t excluded from this) The skill to replace negative thoughts with positive radiating thoughts (that I discussed Monday), can be used even with something as powerful as this.
I challenge every single parent out there to try this, it doesn’t matter how old your child is. You can never start your self love journey too soon or too late. And for our children… there is nothing wrong with faking it ’till you make it.