The first time you see your face in the mirror something magical happens; you gain your identity. An identity you’re completely at peace with, because you’re amazing are you not?! You’ll rejoice in movement; flexing, stretching and reaching. Looking down at your incredible body, you’ll marvel at its ability to mould, shape and bend. The utter joy we take in our physical ability and appearance can be short-lived. For we appear genetically predisposed to later compare and judge ourselves against others. What a bloody shame that most of us then spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find peace with our face, body and it’s capabilities and limitations. The beautiful acceptance of a child’s perspective so quickly swallowed up in this highly competitive world.
Is the media solely to blame or has it always been this way but with a less effective way to reach the masses? How can we protect our children from the trap of physical judgement and condemnation? Before I was a Mother I learned to fake it. To pretend I was more confident than I felt, never admitting my own insecurities. In a way this was a very protective and sensible thing to do. Why draw negative attention to yourself? Simply play along with the notion that you’re happy in your own skin and hope nobody notices the bits you privately agonize over. But upon reflection this gave a false view of me; it was not honest and if there’s one thing I know people love it’s honesty. Real, self-effacing, ‘shit on a stick’ honesty. So authentic, so unafraid and so alluring. From one human to another whether it be a platonic or romantic relationship nothing is more engaging than a confident ‘other’. I now know of course that you can be beautifully confident in your insecurities; scattering them round with aplomb. Positively encouraging those who you surround yourself with to view and judge with a broad, genuine smile throwing your head back to laugh at your own shortcomings. And suddenly they’re as far from your shitty bits as they can be, in fact they’re now the bestest of the best bits of you. Perfectly imperfect yet rejoiced for being just that. Do your children a favour, reveal your insecurities in a secure way. Laugh at, hug, squeeze, poke and prod and let them know it’s all good. Share with them your love for all the bits that don’t fit the new norm, the aspired to impossible imagery of perfection being peddled by the social media generation.
Women burned their bras for fuck sake in order to give us an identity above and beyond HD brows, botox and fillers. Oh how I fear for my little girls born into today’s world. I’ll show them the way as I did with their sister’s; who never heard me talk of diets only healthy eating. Who I always apologised to when I’d been unduly impatient or plain bloody wrong. Who viewed me how I came to view myself as ‘all good’; kind, loving, dare I say it funny even to the point of utter crudeness with no boundaries of written decency if given the opportunity! Let them see a completely confident you; even if you don’t feel it, fake it. Like a forced smile at a party, hold it long enough and the positive attention you’ll inevitably attract will make it real. Genuine, authentic and utterly beautiful; which you are, of course. At the very least be very careful what you reflect back in the mirror at your mini-me. Be sure that it reflects exactly who you are, or at least who you’re pretending to be.