Thursday, May 9, 2013

this is terrifying to share...


Have you guys watched this video by dove? I saw it circulating Facebook for quite awhile before I actually watched it. I kept switching my view from the computer screen to the video monitor. I cried as I listened to these women describe themselves and each other. I cried as they revealed the sketches. I cried as I watched my perfect baby girl sleeping peacefully in her crib.
You see, I've had multiple conversations with Eric about how terrified I am for Mia to grow up in this world. I am afraid she will lose herself. I'm afraid she won't believe she is enough. I'm afraid she won't love herself. Mia is.... Mia is the most perfect little being I've ever laid eyes on. She is so happy! I know she is only a baby, but I know that her love for me, for her dad and for life is unconditional. This tiny human has taught me to view the world in a different light, and it's so wonderful! But she will grow out of that and it is my job to teach her how amazing this world can be and how incredibly beautiful she is. It is my job to teach her that there couldn't possibly be a more perfect version of herself. I want Mia to know of her self worth! I want her to love her as much as I love her!
I am embarrassed to admit the thoughts I've had about myself. I went through a brief period of self loathing, all due to hormones (nasty stuff we are made up of, ha ha) and I cringe just thinking of how cruel I was to myself. But my normal day to day thoughts are almost as ridiculous. Would you believe that I believe that I'm the ugly duckling out of all of my friends? I have such gorgeous friends, every single one! And I often wonder if people feel bad for me for being the odd duck in any group. Just saying (or typing) that out loud sounds ridiculous. I'm embarrassed to feel that way! I gripe about my skin, I pick at my body, I voice concern about all of my imperfections to my husband and that sweet man probably wants to smack me! He is quick to tell me how perfect I am in his eyes. If only I could see myself the way he sees me....
Do you see why I was crying? I don't really know how others view me, but it doesn't matter! What matters is how I view myself. How am I supposed to teach Mia, unless I believe whole heartedly that every word I'm saying is true? It's easy to tell her she's beautiful, in fact, it comes naturally to compliment my angel baby! It feels foreign to compliment myself. It is time to start looking at myself in a different light. It won't be easy at first, but I want to love myself the way I love my daughter. I want to think positive thoughts about myself, the way I do about my friends and family. I want to change and become a better role model for my daughter!! I just want to be better.

photos by: Sweet Wishes Photography
headband: Little Miss Millie's Boutique

36 comments:

Alana Christine said...

I think these are natural fears and thoughts. You will do a great job of showing her how beautiful she is and how wonderful the world can be because she has you and Eric as role models--two amazing people with a passion for life and never-ending love for each other.

Brittany Lew Whoo said...

you guys are beautiful, and i love that video so much! it's a perfect example of how we should all view ourselves in a better light. the most important thing to help baby girls with self-esteem is having it yourself!

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

Beautifully put Courtney! Isn't it so odd how we are each our own worst critic?? Self love is the hardest love to have and it is SO important. Don't be embarrassed by your thoughts about yourself because you are speaking for ALL of us women and our insecurities. I am finding that I'm getting better as I get older. I only hope I can be a role model to my daughter, too. It is so important to love ourselves.

Fina Jenny said...

I have watch the video too.. I guess it is but normal to find the negative things with in ourselves first before finding the positive...
but with a mother like you I'm sure Mia will grow just fine.. :)

Shelley said...

I have the same fears, especially now that I have a daughter.

N said...

Oh, Courtney! So glad you wrote about this! I, too, saw the ad on Facebook for awhile before I actually watched it, and I just started crying so easily at it. I imagined if I described myself, and if my husband described me...I realized the way I'd describe myself in that scenario would not produce an image that actually looked like me. I'd elaborate on my insecurities: my nose, my hair, etc. And I realized my husband's description, while probably slightly too kind, would be more accurate than mine. I think about my struggles with myself. I think about how our future children, boys or girls, will feel, being raised in a world where people on magazines are literally all photoshopped to perfection and the media is constantly bombarding us with impossible goals. We can be happy as we are. The biggest step we can take, I think, is just being conscious of this! I recently talked with my husband about how I need to weigh myself daily to hold myself accountable, but I will never weigh myself in front of our children. I read an article about a mom who weighs her young daughter every day when she weighs herself and it kind of made me sad :/ the mom tells the daughter she is the perfect weight, but I really think such a ritual would eventually affect that girl during her formative years. Whew, sorry for the short story! Your post just made me so happy. Embracing my natural beauty is just one of many things I strive to focus on ;) And for the record, you are gorgeous! Your family's happiness is radiant <3

Lindsay said...

This is a BEAUTIFUL and honest post, and I (as well as so many others, I'm sure!) can definitely relate. Over the past 4-5 months, I've really started to work on my self-confidence, too, wanting to teach my already shy and timid toddler to know that he's perfect and should be proud of his thoughts and convictions. It's so hard, though, to keep self confidence high on stressful days where I realize I haven't washed my hair in 3 days and my clothes are frumpy and old. I try to tell myself one thing daily that I've done or am that I am proud of, and it sounds so stupid but it helps. A little.

You are a radiant, wonderful woman!

Amanda said...

This is beautiful. I too fear raising children in this world. I can't imagine how much more I will fear once we actually have babies. You will do a wonderful job raising Mia! I'm sure of it.

Amberly said...

I'm so glad you decided to post this! It is great! And I never thought about self image in that way. Even though I don't have kids yet, I want to view myself in a way that they never think I hate me.

eryka {from abcde} said...

You are beautiful and amazingly strong for posting this. I needed to read this tonight. I am always worrying about raising my future children in this world. Thank you for posting this and easing my mind. You are amazing!!!!!!!

Xo
E

KRISTIN said...

and now i'm crying. i actually had the opportunity to hear one of the women from the original Dove campaign speak and it was INCREDIBLE. I already (after only 6 months) find myself telling Kenley that she is beautiful and smart and has a perfect little nose. Let's hope our generation and those behind us can flip this world around. ALSO, Kenley is wearing the SAME outfit for her 6mo photos on Saturday. :)

Katie said...

I feel like I could have written this post myself. Not as eloquently, of course, but the feelings and emotions are much the same. I love this line: "I want to love myself the way I love my daughter." So perfect!

Jennifer said...

I have the exact same worries. I worry so much about how Emma will be when she is older. I hope to make her a strong woman.

Ashley said...

I was crying so hard during that commercial. It's terrible how hard we are on ourselves...but everyone does it, I think. It's also scary to think that our children will go through the same thing....we never want to see our children heartbroken.

These pictures of Miss Mia are absolutely adorable.

Kelly said...

I just watched it the other day and it is so sad! We are women are too hard on ourselves! The pictures of Mia are adorable!!

m&msmommy said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post my friend! I echo your thoughts and feelings about myself, exactly! I tell Mia EVERY.SINGLE.DAY that she is gorgeous (in fact, every morning after she gets dressed I take her little hands and do a little dance with her while singing "Beauty girl" over and over again :)) BUT my thoughts about myself couldn't be more opposite! :( So although I may instill all of these values in her, how can I REALLY do this, when I don't believe it about myself?!?!?! Such a great point to think about, so thank you for sharing this honest, raw post with us! :) Even being pregnant, I just feel SO awful and "blah" about myself (I wasn't this way AT ALL with my first two pregnancies so this is all VERY new to me!) Although I've only gained about 8 lbs total (which is right on target and where I'm supposed to be for someone who started out their pregnancy 'overweight' (according to BMI standards) I still feel huge and dare I say, gross! :( I hate admiting that because I know what a huge blessing pregnancy is, and how so many women only wish they could be pregnant, but it's just how I feel. DEFINITELY something I need to work on! :)

OKay, I'm going to stop babbling, you just really struck a chord with this post! You are beautiful friend and Mia is SO lucky to have you as her Mommy and Eric is SO lucky to have you as his wife! :)

Love and prayers coming your way! :)

mail4rosey said...

I've seen those videos, and they are very touching. You can see the despair/ache/realization on the faces while they're viewing the two sketches.

Mason's Mama said...

First of all, you are gorgeous!! Second, this is a great post. I think a lot of mother’s think this way. I know that I do. And you know what? You are 100% perfect in Mia and Eric’s eyes and that is all that matters. These are beautiful pictures.

Jessie said...

Your beauty on the inside shines through to the outside and enhances your already beautiful physical features. I truly believe that. When I think of a friend, I think of her personality, her strengths and talents, and the things she has done for me. Those old wrinkly ladies in church? Some of them know exactly who they are and they are so much fun to be around. I want to be like that when my physical beauty dies away. You're a brave and beautiful girl and so is Mia! She will turn out just fine with a mama who tries as hard as you do.

Jessie said...

Okay, so I just read We are Daughters of Our Heavenly Father by Sister Dalton from the April conference. Made me think of you and Mia and mothers day and more!

lori said...

First off, you are beautiful!!! And not only on the outside but on the inside as well... I think we all struggle with this at times- and I am sure those nasty hormones don't help anything! Try to see yourself as others do and focus on the things you DO love about yourself not your imperfections! And you will do a great job with Mia, I am sure age will grow up to be a confident and strong woman with such great parents as you two!

Ashley said...

Oh Courtney, I just love you and your caring heart! The world needs more people like you raising loving little children who will affect this world in a positive way. The world can be a scary place, but it's nice to know there are loving people out there! You and your family are just that. :)

Someone already said this in a comment, but just being aware of insecurities and working to change them is the best thing you can do. It sounds like you want the best for little Mia, so I'm sure you and Eric will work together to give her just that! Love you, sweet friend!!

17 Perth said...

Oh my gosh! This is beautiful!! Thank you for sharing your heart--it is truly, truly wonderful and I can attest to some of the things you've experienced. I've struggled with self-image an self-talk for years! Solar you have a wonderful husband and a beautiful baby to share your life with....and I don't think there is any need to worry about her and how she will view herself...with a momma like you..no doubt you will instill it in her!

17 Perth said...

So glad not "solar"...auto correct! Lol

Sasha said...

She is beautiful!!! I think we all are unique and beautiful!

Amy @ A Glimpse of the Gouglers said...

Such a beautiful and vulnerable post. You are such a beautiful person but I agree that it is easy for us to pick ourselves apart. I do it too. Mia is absolutely gorgeous and the fact that she has you as a momma will help her to grow up and realize that too!

Christina @ The Murrayed Life said...

What a beautiful, honest post. I understand your worries about a daughter so much because those are the only worries I have in wanting one. It's hard to grow up in this society being a woman, with photoshopped images left and right showing us what "beauty" is. And their baby innocence is just so beautiful. They are beautiful. And ya know, so are you. And so am I. And so are all women out there. We just need to see it and love ourselves. And getting to that place will be the best gift you can possibly give your daughter as a woman because she will see you loving yourself and learn that that's what you do as an adult. You are all beautiful, and it seems to me that you are and will be sure to make sure she knows that fact. <3

Dinah Gacon said...

Oh my goodness you are so beautiful, do not ever think different. I have to say that I am horrible to myself too. I have suffered with acne for years and it always seems to get me down, and I am now in my 30's and still suffer from stupid skin problems...I guess god wanted me to be this way but I have to learn to love all my flaws...that dove video really broke my heart and I cried too.

xo Dinah @ sunshine super glam

Allison said...

I just love your heart and how you want to be the best momma you can be. You are beautiful and strong and you are already a wonderful example of that for your baby girl!

Purposely at Home said...

oh, courtney, i think we have all had these thoughts one time or another.
you and mia both are beautiful and God made you perfect just the way you are. thank you for being courageous and sharing these thoughts with us.

happy mom's day to you tomorrow. :)

xo
purposelyathome.blogstpot.com

Annette said...

Happy Mother's Day Courtney! Remember that you are perfect in your husband's eyes, in your little girl's eyes, and in God's eyes. (I try to remind myself this all the time too.) Enjoy this special day!

Mimi said...

I cried when I watched that, too. My boyfriend let me finish crying and he said, "Now do you see how I feel when you talk down on yourself? It's how you felt about those women. It's sad and I can't understand why you don't see what I see." It was crazy. Just raise your beautiful daughter in an environment to keep her head up and to appreciate herself and you will be fine. She will appreciate herself and others. We can start the change with our children, even if there are only a few of us. :)

Janna Renee said...

I would be scared too! You are such a good mom, though. She has the most perfect parents for her, and I know you guys will be the best protection from the outside world. You can't smother her, but you will be great at mothering her ;)

Mandy said...

You are your baby are beautiful. Can I say I totally understand where you are coming from. It's so hard to always have a "good" day in the self-esteem and looks department. Your daughter is so lucky to have such an awesome Mom! Hope you have a fabulous mother's day. So very happy I found you!!

Christelle said...

Love this post, Courtney. I've been in a big battle with myself over this very thing and it can become debilitating at times. It is amazing how different we see ourselves from what others see.

You are such a beautiful woman inside and out, and I truly appreciate and admire how much you strive to be a good mother for Mia, she's one very lucky little girl to have you!

The Heart Of A Woman said...

Raising children in this day is scary. I have a wonderful book called , "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children," by Jodie Berndt. God really is the only hope for us and our children.

I have struggled with the same thoughts as you. Thinking I am the "ugly duckling," or "I am not worthy of much." That is a lie. The truth is we are beautiful it the eyes of Christ. So much so, that He laid down His life for us.

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