Sunday, May 31, 2009

Beautiful Like Me: Me & More Questions

Today I am posting for the Beautiful Like Me Project, a project dedicated to raising awareness about the lack of self-esteem and poor body image in today's youth. We are inviting anyone and everyone to please join us in spreading the word. Please feel free to join in anytime. Also please take a minute to see the other Beautiful Like Me Posters (listed below)! Together we can help today's youth have a positive self-image!

This weeks topic is:
What person or people are the most influential about how you feel about yourself?
Who influences you the most to feel beautiful?

I have been a little busy lately and blogging has taken back burner, so I am running a little late with my post. As always I procrastinated thinking the topic was fairly easy until I sat down to write about it, I know you have heard that excuse before ... but it is hard ... give it a try ... join in and write your post for the Beautiful Like Me Project and let me know what you think, was it as easy to write as you thought?

Things happen for a reason, I am a true believer of that. So yesterday my family was all at the table eating lunch and Caitlyn (age 14) asks: "Why do people always want to change themselves?" I started to ramble about how "it is okay to want to change how we do things and learn new things, that is how we grow ... and growing is a life long experience." So Caitlyn interrupts me and says, "I know all that but why when you ask someone if you could change one thing about themselves, is it always something about their bodies?" Well honestly, I did not have a good answer for her. We did however have a nice conversation about what we like about our bodies and what other things about ourselves we might change instead! I was very pleased when Allyson (11 years old) jumped into the conversation to say that she would not change anything about herself!

So this little scenario does not answer the question posed this week but it just made me think ... as this project seems to like to do.

As I sit here writing with my baby Willy in my lap, curled up sleeping ... I can look down at him and it takes my breath away. His beauty is amazing. He is perfect ... his double chin, almost bald head, big ears, rolly polly arms and legs, and chunkers belly ... every little inch of him is perfect. Any moment now my one year old will come toddling from the bedroom with his hair all scattered everywhere, a soggy wet diaper, and his big elephant stomps ... a picture of perfectness. He too is beautiful. All my children are, as I am sure all of you know your children are just beautiful and perfect! But do they know it? When do they stop seeing beauty in themselves? How can we teach them to see the inner beauty?

There have been few times in my life when I could look at my self and think "wow, you are beautiful" Matter-a-fact, I am not sure that I have ever been able to say that without seeing flaws. Over the years I have really tried hard to except things the way they are and stop judging myself and taken the time to look at myself and find the beauty ... this is not easy for me, this is work. Even despite the fact that many people are very encouraging and kind and frequently express the beauty they see in me, it always seems that it comes down to what I see in myself. I am the one who influences how I see myself and how others see me. If I feel beautiful and confident, it is easier for others to see the beauty within me.

I struggle with the fact that even as I sit here writing all I can think about is the outward physical image of myself. There are so many others parts of a person to find beautiful, how do we program ourselves to look for it? I would be so interested in hearing someone who can not see answer this question?

I am so sorry that this is such a scattered post. I am not able to get a good grasp of my thoughts for this it ... it seems that with each thought I have, it is followed with more questions, so I am off to read other Beautiful Like Me posts (I will link up to them below) in hopes to find answers or at least more to think about!

For more wonderful thoughts on building self esteem stop by all the other beautiful blogs that are supporting the Beautiful Like Me Project! I will be adding as people post:

My Co-hosts: WickedStepMom and Tricia at Shout

Saffa Chick at Wandering Saffa Chick
Lisa P at Use Your Wisdom

Please join us anytime, if you post leave a message with your link and I will add you to my list! Together we can make a difference, each story told touches someones life!

Here you can look at past Beautiful Like Me Posts!

Here is our topic for the next Beautiful Like Me Post and you can always go to the Project Main Page for a list of topics and other information.

Next post scheduled for Monday, June 1st

What event or time did you feel your most beautiful? How did this event shape your view of yourself? Do your family, friends and children know about this event and how important it was?


Ailurophile said...

What a cool project. Thanks for promoting it. I think everybody is beautiful in their own way and gifted with some talent or unique ability. Hope you have a good day and a great week :)

Tricia said...

It's the essence of the project I suppose...changing the dialogue so that "beauty" isn't about body, but about character. Since my son is only five, it's fairly easy right now to center the idea of beauty around ideas other than about body image, and we simply don't discuss beauty in that sense, although I certainly think about it in relation to myself. I'm hoping that if I plant certain seeds early, they'll take root. I'll let you know in about 20 years :o)

I don't have an answer to Caitlyn's question either, but I also think perhaps there's nothing really wrong with wanting to improve our physical be stronger, healthier, etc., and that aspiration is not a bad thing. I think where we get into trouble is when we desire change for things that are out of our control like the length of our legs or the color of our eyes. Or if the changes we wish for defeat us or define us.

Becky said...

This is an incredible project! Great question from Caitlyn and unfortunately not an easy question to answer. Thank you for sharing!