Whether or not we realize it, our body image ideals are ingrained in us from an early age. As more and more of us realize that our mothers affect our body images more than we think, one mom is making a special vow to her own daughter.
After spending the day at the mall with her daughter, mom Brittney Johnson found herself reflecting on the example that she sets for her daughter in all aspects of life. Johnson told a story about watching her daughter's impressive manners as they went about their day — and then coming to a realization once they stepped into a dressing room to try on swimsuits together.
"She made conversation with the guy at Starbucks even after I tried convincing her it is not called Starburst and they do not have candy," Johnson wrote in a Facebook post. "We had dinner where she told the lady 'please' and 'thank you' and 'I just love your hair!'"
Johnson wrote that she began trying swimsuits on and sending photos to her friends for their approval.
"I snapped pictures of them to send to my girlfriends and say 'yes or no?!' because girls are wired weird and that's just what we do," she wrote.
In the photo she posted to Facebook, she happened to capture a special moment with her daughter that made her reevaluate the way she talks and thinks about her own body.
"When she turned to the mirror, she said 'Wow I just love cheetah print! I think I look beautiful! Do you think I look beautiful too?!'" she wrote. "When it hit me that she only says what she hears. What she sees."
"She is polite at the order counter because she hears me when I'm polite to strangers everywhere," Johnson continued. "She gives compliments to people she doesn't know because she loves how it feels when she hears them.. And when we are in a dressing room, with swimsuits of all God forsaken things, there is a split moment when I have the power to say 'wow I have really gotten fat this year' OR 'wow I love this coral color on me!' And those are the words burned into my daughters brain."
The realization made her understand why it's so important to set an example for her daughter when it comes to body image — even when she doesn't feel perfect herself.
"As my daughter gets older, and she faces judgement and criticism, I will always remind her that the girls who look the prettiest in a two piece, or a body suit, or a freaking Snuggie, are the ones who are happy," she wrote. "Because that's ALL that matters. And I want her to look at herself every single day and say 'Oh wow! I think I look beautiful!' because EVERY girl deserves to feel that."
Her story points at an issue that isn't always discussed — the way we talk about our bodies has an effect on the people we love. Given that model Ashley Graham recently revealed that she learned a lot of her body positivity from her own mother, it's important to realize the impact that our outlook has on the people around us.
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