My biggest fear as a mother, is for my daughter growing up looking for love in all the wrong places. I fear that she won’t know her worth, that she will not love herself enough to embrace her beauty. Self love, self acceptance, self worth, self confident…. I pray she learns that she is enough.
At some point in my teenage years I became anorexic. I was never diagnosed because, really, what is anorexia to black people? I had the urge to be in control. Skinniness meant beauty, which meant more friends, which was my definition for success (Don’t judge, I was a teenager remember). As for the urge to be perfect? Well I think I was born with it. It was part of who I am, WAS. But through my postnatal anxiety, I learned that PERFECTIONISM IS OVERRATED. I was insulting God by trying to alter myself to be what he clearly didn’t make me to be.
A couple of weeks ago my beautiful daughter asked me why she’s ‘Chocolate’ and her brother and I are ‘Milky’. I immediately closed my laptop and hugged her. She expressed how she feels that it was unfair that she’s darker than us, and asked at what age she can start putting on facial creams. I looked her straight in her eyes and told her how perfect she is as she is. At age of 10 and there’s already this pressure to conform to society’s definition of beauty.
Dove couldn’t have introduced their new campaign at a better time. A time where our girls feel so less of themselves. Just this week the entire South Africa is mourning the death of a beautiful 14yr old Klara Gottert who committed suicide. As parents we were shaken, but most of all left with the realization that it could happen to any of us. How do we make a change? How can we help our daughters to have a healthy self-esteem?
Dove Self-Esteem Project