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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Self-Esteem

I received this email the other day from Dove, promoting their "Movement for Self-Esteem:"
Do you remember what it was like to be 13? I do.

I yearned to be gorgeous and thin and popular... My anxiety about my appearance sometimes kept me from doing the things I really wanted to do, like auditioning for the school musical. I just never felt comfortable in my own skin.

Things are no better for girls growing up today. Did you know that 70% of girls avoid certain activities - like raising their hand in class - when they feel bad about how they look?
Yes, I remember that. It's the way I feel even now, at age 34. As I type that, I think it's ridiculous for me to feel that way, to be trapped in the 13-year-old psyche. But it definitely says a lot about how important it is to raise children's self-esteem at a young age. Negative comments from family members and kids at school about my appearance remain with me even today, and might be part of something I struggle with for the rest of my life. I've had a lot of good things going for me in my life, but they've always been overshadowed by how much I loathe my appearance, which has spilled over into loathing everything else about myself. That's really sad. Man, I hate being so darn sensitive.

I'm definitely interested in seeing Dove's plans for this "movement." I hope it helps a lot of girls.

Also: I am glad my son is so confident and happy. I hope he always stays that way. And it's interesting that when I see bits of me in him, it makes me smile. My little angel, sent here to help me see the best in everything -- even myself. :)