As a mother, my images and expectations of physical beauty don’t just impact me. They affect my kids. I’ve reflected my concerns with my own behaviors and attitudes towards my appearance in previous posts, e.g., Weekend Observations: Ending the Hypocrisy.
I read a recent post where author and musician Christa Black had some good advice on how to minimize these effects (“What you are teaching your daughters about beauty in front of the mirror?”). In addition to saying all the typical stuff, like watch the words we use in front of kids to describe our own or their appearances, Black says that we should bolster our kids’ sense of inner beauty. She believes that often our insecurity of our appearance is linked to something deeper, i.e., to “the beatings of a wounded heart.” She doesn’t mean we should recite trite sayings like: “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” or “don’t judge a book by its cover.”
No, she advises us to BEHAVE beautifully. In other words, do good works with our kids. Volunteer, bring toys to kids in need, etc. The act of doing good, of doing beautiful deeds, will enhance our kids’ sense of worth and esteem. And these feelings will help overcome feelings of insecurity with regards to their looks.
Hey, doing good deeds is all-around great advice. Now we have another reason to promote it. Self-esteem!