I haven’t always considered myself beautiful. Not that I ever thought I was a troll or anything, just not beautiful. I knew I had beautiful eyes and I liked to think I had a beautiful smile, but overall I’ve always considered myself average, perhaps even plain.
When my daughter was born, I knew immediately that she (unlike me) is beautiful. Of course I am biased, as all mothers should be, but she truly is beautiful. As she grows and we get to see how funny, intelligent, and kind she is, her beauty also grows — from the inside out.
Starting fairly early on, people would tell me that she looks “just like” me. It’s the highest compliment I can imagine and my immediate thought was always, Really? But she (unlike me) is so beautiful!
Then in November, we had her first-grade conferences. As we all sat down, her teacher said to me, “I knew immediately who you were; you two are so much alike!” My daughter and I looked at each other. And in that moment, in a flash of realization, I knew.
I knew because she looks at me the way I look at her. Because in her eyes, I am beautiful. Because she sees herself in me. Because if her teacher says we’re alike, she will believe it. And if I say that I am not beautiful, I am saying she is not beautiful. And mother’s bias or not, that is simply not true.
So we smiled and nudged each other and before turning back to her teacher I said, “We get that a lot, don’t we?” And that’s when I knew: I am beautiful.
It’s fun being beautiful. I don’t worry so much about the little things in the mirror. I don’t need my body to change, while I am continuing to build healthier habits. I don’t feel I have to “get ready” to go places, and hair and makeup are more for fun than necessity.
And on days I don’t feel it, I simply have to think of her. I remember that people think we are alike. And I know how beautiful she is.