My Journey to Self Love

BY: - 14 Sep '12 | Home

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Me, when I was in pre-school.

Me, when I was in pre-school.

I remember growing up and being told by my family and friends:

  • your eyes are too big
  • your forehead is too big
  • your lips are too big
  • your feet are too big ( as I started to wear a size 10 shoe when I was in middle school)
  • your ears are too big (I hated Christmas..because I knew I was going to be called Baby New Year by one of  my cousins)
  • and oh yes…you would be cute if you did not have those freckles.

I remember every comment as if they were said to me yesterday. And they effected me immensely.  For most of my life, I never thought I was “cute enough” and I have always been self  conscious  about my looks.

But then, there was my mother.

She was always there to tell me how much she loved my big eyes..because they were just like hers and like her mother’s, and her mother’s mother. And she told me that she loved my freckles. And that they were angel kisses. My mom is a tall woman and she also wears a size 10 shoe.  She loves being tall..she said it was powerful.

I never forgot my mother’s encouraging words! And as I grew up, I learned to appreciate my big brown eyes, my full lips, my angel kisses, and my entire body from head to toe. Yes, I even love my size 10.5 feet (they grew after I had my babies.) And I so appreciate my mother, for loving me just the way I was. I could see it every time she looked at me.

Check me out now.  I’m not covering up my freckles with a whole bunch of make-up. And, I ‘m even rocking my natural hair!!

And now I have 4 beautiful kids. And since I know how powerful our words can be, I will make sure that they know how beautiful they are.  But check out my youngest.  Who does she look like?  Yep, she’s a mini-me! And we found 6 angel kisses on her face last week.  The entire family celebrated.  She said mommy: “Now I have angel kisses just like you.”

My mini me.

BMWK – Have you ever dealt with family or friends saying cruel things to you? Was there someone in your past, like my mother, that always encouraged you when others didn’t?

Each new day provides you with an opportunity to have special moments with your family.

Disclosure:     This post is part of a series that is sponsored by Hallmark and the  Life is a Special Occasion  campaign.     All opinions and editorial content expressed are my own.

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 416 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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17 WordPress comments on “My Journey to Self Love

  1. Amanda

    This is a great article about accepting yourself as the unique image that God made you. I carried so many negative images about myself as a young girl and it wasn’t until I was an adult that I began to think that I was beautiful. Looking back, I know that I was beautiful all along and now you can NOT convince me otherwise. I try to pass that message on to my step daughter who is at that critical age (13) and I let her know that she should not compare herself to other girls, because she is beautiful all on her own. It is so important to let our girls know that they do not have to look like that airbrushed image on the magazine, but to be proud of the unique qualities that they have. Thanks for the article.

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Tyler Post author

      Thanks for the comments Amanda…your step daughter is lucky to have you. It was those small words of encourage from my mother that ultimately stuck with me all of this time.

      Reply
  2. Jan L

    I could’ve written this article! I got the negative comments about my freckles, big lips and five-head from classmates mostly, but they really put a dent in my self-esteem for many many years. Just like you, I’ve learned to accept and appreciate my beauty.

    Reply
  3. Patricia

    Like you, I have freckles I was teased. I was flat chested, I had a family member say to me the walls must be jealous of you. I’ve had a lot of negative words said to me when I was younger but I have never let them get to me. I know I’m beautiful, so I don’t need anyone telling me that I am because I tell myself that I am beautiful everyday…..

    Reply
  4. Tiffani

    Such a beautiful story Ronnie! A mother’s consistent love and affirmation is vital and I am blessed to have a mother as well that has always uplifted everything about me; and encouraged me in the midst of negative comments from others. You ARE beautiful and from now on I will always look at freckles as “angel kisses” too. :-)

    Reply
  5. Tiya

    Ronnie,
    I was truly touched by your story! Thank God for mothers. Your mini-me is adorable. Because of the cruel things children used to say to me when I was coming up (always centered around the texture of my hair) I knew I had to instill in my girls nothing but positive affirmations. I didn’t want them to believe any lies that others might say about them, like they’re too dark, skinny, nappy head, ugly or stupid. So I made a habit to say things like good morning beautiful, or hey smart girl, and good night gorgeous. Children hold on tight to the things their parents say, so we have to build them up. Thank you for this heart warming article!

    Reply
  6. Tonya

    This is a very good article. I am 28 and recently got married. I was teased as a child and was also told you like prettier if you were lighter, etc. Recently, I have been seeing a Christian counselor about this and she is awesome!!! I feel like I have a cheerleader on my side helping me to love myself the way God loves me. My husband is also very supportive too which helps a whole lot!!! Love the article :-)

    Reply
  7. LaLeSims

    Thank you for sharing Ronnie!!! I too remember children and family being so cruel when I was a child. Not only did I have visible burns scars on my upper arms and chest but I also had big everything: feet, lips, nose. Some of my relatives still call me Nosy Bear. But as I got older I embraced my uniqueness and was proud of my features…which now include freckles and moles. And I make sure that I encourage my Fantastic Four (my children) to be proud of how they look and who they are because God made us all in His image and to me…that makes us all pretty special.

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    I wrote of similar journey around the negative messages I received about my hair for B.L.O.G. Magazine. I didnt have resolution until I was an adult, helping a little girl who had been treated the same way…

    Reply
  9. Monique

    Thank you so much for sharing your story.The part about your mother saying your eyes were like hers really stood out for me. A few years ago, I realized that every physical feature I have, I inherited from someone dear to my heart.That completely changed the way I saw myself.and yes, your daughter is your mini me, a beauty just like her mom.

    Reply
  10. Eva

    Man… I didn’t have family in the US to tease me, but the kids at school more than made up for it. I had really long thick hair that my mom would put into a million twists with colorful rubber bands going all the way down each one with a barrette on the end. I loved them, and I always felt pretty after she did my hair… until I got to school. I was the only black girl in the school at the time, and the kids would call me Medusa. You know, the mythological creature so ugly that she could turn you to stone with one look? That Medusa.

    Coming home to parents who told me I was pretty the way I was made me feel like they were the ones who had issues. I figured that surely my parents were smarter than my classmates, and that they just didn’t know what pretty was.

    And your daughter really is an itty bitty you… so cute!

    Reply
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