You are Beautiful

beach

I think I have a pretty good body image.

I am happy with who I am.

I wear what I want, I eat what I like and I made peace with my curly hair years ago.

I have no time for uncomfortable shoes, contacts that make my eyeballs itch or cosmetics that cover up my real, actual face.

Since becoming mom to a beautiful, strong little girl, I have been purposeful about speaking positively about my body.

And hers.  And yours.

Apparently salt water is my kryptonite.

You see, I am white.

Like SPF 70 and a t-shirt to avoid sunburn white.

And yet I find myself at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean with this beautiful, strong girl (not so little anymore).  And I am thinking of you.

You know who you are—friends posting beach pictures with perfectly tanned bodies, perfectly coiffed hair, perfectly relaxed smiles.

I feel a mess.  I am covered in sunscreen, sweat and sand.

I am exhausted from chasing a toddler over uneven terrain while keeping one eye on a child who is overly confident in unpredictable water.

The beach is not my happy place.

In this moment, I speak of you, Facebook-perfect friends.

Immediately, my daughter calls me on it.

You are beautiful, mom.

Stop comparing yourself to them.

Just stop.

She is right.

So I smile for a picture,

A real, actual, happy smile.

Because even though the beach is not my happy place.

In this moment,

Being her mom is.

Friend, if you feel a mess today.

Covered in sand or regret, worried about measuring up.

Her words are for you too.

You are beautiful.

Stop comparing yourself to them.

Just stop.

You are beautiful.

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5 thoughts on “You are Beautiful

  1. Latanya Thomas Coston

    I recently had a conversation with my daughter about the benefits of comparing ourselves to others. We discovered that here are none! We, women, tend to play the comparison game in at least two ways. We compare ourselves “negatively” saying, “I could never measure up to her.” We compare ourselves “positively” saying, “I’m glad I’m not like her.” Either way, it never works. Either way, we end up feeling bad about ourselves. Either way, we are ignoring the fact that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made by God, in His image. My daughter and I decided that it would be better to appreciate the beauty in ourselves and in each person that we meet. Everyone has beautiful parts and EVERYONE has broken parts. God loves all of our parts. Shall we dare to appreciate all parts of ourselves? Then, perhaps we can appreciate all parts of others as we encounter them by divine appointment. Lord, please help us!

  2. Edie Hicks

    Shannon I know that beach feeling too, I also am a sunburn easy, freckled Hicks. You are perfectly wonderful where you are, my daughter grew up to be a strong wonderful young woman even though her Mom hated the beach but went with long sleeves and a large sunhat so she could play in the sand and surf. You write beautifully, I wish I could meet you. The last time I saw your Dad he wasn’t even a teen yet.
    May God continue to bless you and your family!
    Edie

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