5 Empowering Lessons on Beauty I’m Teaching my Brown Girls

BY: - 12 Nov '15 | Parenting

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Growing up  in a predominantly white neighborhood and often being one of the very few or only black kids in class, I did not consider myself to be anywhere near the standard of beauty. Oh, and if there were any other black kids, I was always the darkest.

It took me a really long time (well into adulthood) to really love and embrace who I was, and to define my own standard of beauty. Raising two girls, from the time they were babies (ages four and six now), I’ve always told them how beautiful they are. I talk about how beautiful their hair is because I always longed for long, straight, flowy hair.

Here are five empowering lessons on beauty I’m teaching my brown girls, as well as an open letter to let them know they are beautiful. Period.

1. Beauty looks different for everyone – there is no standard

2. You don’t have to have long, straight, flowy hair for it to be beautiful

3. Your beauty starts with your character

4. You don’t have to conform to what society says is the standard

5. Your beauty is in how you treat others

To my beautiful brown girls: you are more than the shade of your skin tone. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Your skin color is not too dark or too light. You don’t have “good hair” or “bad hair”.

Related: 4 Ways to teach your kids to love their natural hair

Your skin is perfect and your hair is exactly what God created for you. Know that you were created in His image. His image is always perfect. His image is never a mistake. Dear black girl, know that you are:

  • Pretty. Period.
  • Smart. Period.
  • Intelligent. Period.
  • Courageous. Period.
  • Loved. Period.
  • Precious. Period.

A Fighter. A conqueror. A Queen. They will try to destroy you with their words. But don’t give them that power. You have to be able to look in the mirror and tell yourself how much you love yourself.

I wish someone had told me about self-love. I wish someone had told me I didn’t have to go looking for someone else to love me, because it was already within. I wish someone had told me that I am imperfectly perfect just the way I am. I wish someone had told me I that I had a voice. So I am telling you these things now.

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I am writing this because I am you, and you are me. It took me over thirty years to learn the true meaning of loving myself. I didn’t understand that my thoughts became my words, which became my actions.

I didn’t understand the importance of being a cheerleader for myself. Did you know that while I love you, while so many people love you…no human being can love you more than you love yourself? Be confident in your magnificence. Be confident in your brilliance.

How you ask? Hold your head up high. Surround yourself with more cheerleaders. Live in the moment, and celebrate even what you consider to be small successes.

Growing up, I didn’t understand that my skin tone wasn’t a factor in creating a life of happiness. I didn’t see many people who looked like me on TV, or even in my classes.

Related: 5 More things I did to get my daughter’s natural hair growing

When I picked up books or magazines, I thought that a lack of images that looked like me, meant that I was not worthy; that I was not beautiful.

But I want you to know that you are all of these things. You are the creator of your own happiness. Growing up, I thought being pretty meant having long, straight hair down my back, and a skin tone ten shades lighter than I had.

Now, I’ve learned to embrace the beautiful, natural hair and rich melanin that God gave me, and I’m teaching my girls to do the same. Will you join me?

Don’t allow anyone to dim your light. The world needs you. Even when you’re feeling alone, you are not alone. Read these words until you believe them for yourself.

You matter. Your. Life. Matters.

Don’t ever forget that.

Your past mistakes do not define you, they only make you stronger. Beautiful brown girl, you are more than the shade of your skin. You are light to someone else’s darkness. You are happiness to someone else’s sadness. You are magnificent, just the way God created you to be.

BMWK: What empowering words of affirmation would you add to share with beautiful brown girls everywhere?

About the author

Christine St. Vil wrote 153 articles on this blog.

Christine St.Vil is co-author of the Whose Shoes Are Your Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be. A happy wife to an amazing hubby of 8 years, and homeschooling mother of three, she teaches moms how to FLY (First Love Yourself). She uses her corporate background to work with women who are ready to start a new business, accelerate their career growth & design a life they love. She's on a mission to help moms to battle the mom guilt epidemic, so they can begin to put themselves first on their never-ending list of priorities.

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Sarah Jakes’ New Book ‘Dear Mary’ Takes on Modern Day Motherhood with an Old School Twist

BY: - 19 Nov '15 | Parenting

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Sarah Jakes has done it again!  According to her new book, Dear Mary, “Jakes explores biblical stories about Mary – as well as stories from her own life – to better understand what living for Christ can look like today and how to model that for you children.”

BMWK caught up with Sarah and get real about life and motherhood in this day and age.

BMWK: What inspired you to write Dear Mary?

Sarah: After a book tour, I realized that my kids had changed so much during the three months of the tour.  Once I was back into my family’s everyday routine, I realized that I have a 12-year-old son, who is growing up very quickly, as well as a daughter who is five and dealing with social pressures in life.

At first, I thought that I was entering the easy part of motherhood, because what I’ve realized is that they are very self-sufficient. I also realized that having faith was going to help me understand how to protect my children, and guide them on their road to becoming adults. In Dear Mary,I share the joys and trials that many mothers face when striving to raise happy, whole children.

BMWK: What are you hoping people will get from this book?

Sarah: Within the book, I discuss Mary from a practical understanding, and I also go into detail on how mothers can learn to let their children grow and mature on their own.

I also discuss human nature issues that mothers deal with as their children continue to evolve and grow up, so I am hopeful that I am guiding those mothers who are feeling the same way I felt, before writing this book.

BMWK: What do you consider to be 3 of the most important lessons to be learned from this book?

Sarah: Mothers will:

  1. Learn that insecurities don’t disqualify them from being great mothers, but they’ve actually been better equipped to be passionate towards their children.
  2. Learn their faith will be the model in which their children build their own relationship with God.
  3. Learn that yesterday is behind them and they have the power to change their tomorrow for the better.

BMWK:  How can a “Modern Mom” get around the feeling that these lessons may be “old fashioned?”

Sarah: As a modern mother, I was very intent on writing a book that was far from old fashioned. Wisdom is ageless, but it can be packaged in many relevant and relatable ways.

This book strives to take the wisdom from previous generations and make them applicable for the issues we face today.

BMWK: How do you think our beliefs affect our parenting?

Sarah: We are our children’s first teachers. Our beliefs will be the lens through which they come to view the world.

BMWK: What do you think Mary would say about today’s modern mom?

Sarah: I think Mary would say the modern mother has incredibly different challenges than what she faced, but they have determination and abundant access to resources that make them equipped to overcome the obstacles that lie ahead of them.    

BMWK: How has researching and writing this book changed you as a modern mother?

Sarah: Researching for this book reminded me that times have changed, but that doesn’t make them better or easier. Mary was hiding her son from a death sentence at birth. She may have not had to check his twitter or FB, but she wandered during perilous times to protect him.

BMWK: How can husbands help their wives embrace some of the motherhood lessons in this book without judgment?

Sarah: In Dear Mary I speak about the unique roles fathers and mothers play when rearing children. I believe that husbands must first seek to understand the unique offering a mother brings to the family unit.

Avoiding harsh criticism is key to developing a partnership that seeks to build healthy children. Above all, making sure that they don’t become so consumed with grading her role that they fail to see their own areas of improvement.

BMWK: Is there a “Dear Joseph” in the works?

Sarah: I dare not try to understand the minds of men.

BMWK: Though you are married now, do you have a special message you would like to give to single moms?

Sarah: I’d encourage single mothers to not be discouraged by the notion of not having a traditional family. I was able to offer stability and happiness as a single mother that I could have never obtained had I stayed in my previous marriage.

Believe that you are fully equipped to nurture and protect your children through all the snares and pitfalls of life. Your children will see their family through your eyes make it a beautiful picture

BMWK, what are some other lessons we can learn from Mary about modern day motherhood?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 103 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.

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