It’s hard to be 11. It’s hard to be 11, growing up in an Instagram-perfect world when you are imperfect, unfiltered, human. My daughter will tell you. She may point to the dark hairs on her honey-colored forearms, the roundness of her childish form or her strikingly exotic, untrimmed eyebrows. It’s hard to be 11. It’s also hard to be 30. Or 40. Or 50. Or human.
As my sweet girl grows into her own self concept and becomes more aware of how her body may or may not conform to what she sees on tv, social media or in magazines, I remind her that self love in a superficial world is a sacred act of rebellion. She is her own warrior. Her own hero. And to stand in confidence, to love every square inch of herself from the freckles on her cheeks to the hair on her arms, is to carve out her own freedom, the likes of which no other person could gift her in a thousand lifetimes. To refuse the chains of impossible ideals, to love the human form which houses her soul, is to embrace the vessel that will carry her to whatever dreams lie in wait, yet to manifest, in her future. And it is hers to protect, affirm, nourish and love.
So, to my sweet girl - to the 30, 40 and 50 year old, to the other imperfect humans - I say this: You, my dear, are already beautiful. You are beautiful because you are a force of nature, a valuable soul, a source of untold joy, comfort, strength and inspiration for loved ones and strangers alike. Your exterior can not define you, although the world may sometimes try to tell you otherwise. Rebel. Refuse to be complicit in a storyline that would make you out to be anything less than the hero. Speak your truth always and do not let it become diluted by the chatter of impossible standards that would drown you out before you have the chance to open your mouth. Stretch out beyond the narrow confines of ‘ideal’ beauty and dangle those strong little legs out over the edge. Take up that space and more. And the next time you begin to wonder if you are good enough, or whether you should reach for the concealer to hide that adorable mole above your lip, re-read this letter until something clicks. You are, will always be, more than good enough.
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