"Tell your daughter that she is beautiful.
Tell her that her eyes light up the entire universe, that her smile warms the souls around her, that her laugh pierces the air with an impossible gentleness.
Tell her that you see yourself in how her blonde hair curls when it is humid, that you had the same dimples at her age, that her nose resembles that of your mother's.
But, tell her that she is so much more than what meets the eye.
Tell her that she has the strength enough to lift herself up when the world beats her down, she has the intelligence to follow her own intuition, she has the grace to love and nurture. She has the power to leave this world better than she found it; to heal, to transform, to make waves.
Because she won't always think she is beautiful.
She will come home with her head hung low. She will have days when her tears drown her dreams. She will feel ashamed when she is rejected, lonely when she is sequestered, different when she speaks. She will not see what others see. If she is not beautiful, then what is she?
Strong. Intelligent. Powerful.
Tell your daughter that she is beautiful. But tell her that she is so, so much more."
We as a society are so quick to jump to complimenting looks; "Your hair is so perfect!", "You look so pretty today!", or worst of all, "Wow, you look so thin!". Not only can these comments be detrimental to both the giver and the receiver, they further engrain the message that external beauty is of a greater value than an individual's internal beauty. We are so much more than a "pretty" face!
Beauty standards are subjective, ever-evolving, and thus, impossible to attain. Why should we spend our lives trying to adhere to such standards when we have dreams to chase, goals to pursue? Girls and women are constantly bombarded with messages on how to make themselves more physically presentable to the outside world (typically in the form of purchasing a product); what we are not often taught is how to appreciate who we are as people. Strength, intelligence, and power cannot be seen by the eye and yet are so much more indicative of what we bring to the world!
So, the next time you are trying to lift up a friend, sister, or daughter, try some of these:
• "You brighten my day."
• "You inspire me because..."
• "I admire how passionate you are about..."
• "You are so courageous."
• "You empower me to..."
Let's keep empowering one another!