I was going to start this week with a post about how I am not registered to vote and why but you will have to wait for that thriller.
I changed it up because I had an interesting conversation with my two year old daughter. If you have not noticed Fi is mixed with black and white. I could not tell you much more than that… call me ignorant but I am not ancestry.com. I am black and her father is white.
I knew there would be a day where I would need to explain the complexities of life to her but I just wanted her to continue to think people are all the same for as long as possible… again call me ignorant but who am I to destroy the innocence of a child?
So yesterday we were in the mirror (like always) and with a gasp she exclaimed, “mama! I am WHITE!”
In my head I am like “girl I know!”… I mean she was born very fair skinned with bright blue eyes (like most babies…I thought) While her eyes have transformed to a light brown her skin has stayed pretty light. But anyways… before I could address her comment she rubs my arm and says “mama you are brown and I love your brown skin it is very pretty… and I am pretty too, I am beautiful mama”… Who are you ?! How are you so perfect? She said everything I was thinking! How did she beat me at this parenting thing? I have never gone out of my way to address her skin color with her. I seem to tell her every day she is beautiful… not ONLY because of her looks, because of her mind…because of the things she says without instruction.
I know as a mother it is up to me in a lot of ways to set the example of acceptance and beauty. It is up to me to teach her to love herself and to value her mind as much as she values how she looks.
I have a pretty wide range of what I think is beautiful because I try to see beauty in all things. In every freckle and every stretchmark.
I have stretch marks from my thighs to the tops of my hips. I have scars from the hip piercings I got in high school. I have an outtie belly button that now sags from my pregnancy. I have a scars all over… from being a reckless child. I have bags under my eyes down to my chin. I have giant feet and a tiny booty.
All of those things are BEAUTIFUL to me…
I love myself.. have I always? No! But luckily college helped me figure out who I am and love that person while becoming a mother and seeing my body transform so drastically has made me love every inch of myself.
In the same regard… I love makeup I love weaves and wigs I love high heels. So how do I teach my little girl to love herself first… and if she chooses to try things like wearing makeup or heels or 30inch weave… it is COMPLIMENT her looks and who she is and not to make her someone else..?
Call me crazy but I want to raise my daughter to love who she is and not who she can be.
Everyone is beautiful. I want her to look in the mirror and see that. I want her to look out the window and see that. Even though I feel like all my love could take over the world, it is nothing if you do not love yourself.
I feel like it is damn near impossible to explain self love when she watches me pack on makeup for an hour every morning, squeeze into my waist trainer and straighten up my wig or weave or whatever mess is on my head.
Just being real…ish
She has not asked WHY I do this.. yet..
she just asks if she can join me.
I have been bullied about everything from my head to my toes…which at 14 sucked but at 22 you can’t tell me a damn thing about what I look like or who I am!
…But you see…
My daughter has the most beautiful curls– But someone somewhere might call them “nappy”
And she has perfect brown eyes — But she might constantly hear they are “just brown”
She has a flawless complexion but some might call her “pasty”
I know I cannot carry her through middle and high school reminding her that she is beautiful inside and out.
Can I convince her she does not need to be a certain size, shape, or color to be loved?
Can I convince her that she does not need to be loved by everyone?
I know every year she is going to see more, learn more, and love more.
In a world where you can buy everything you need to become an entirely different person… will she choose to love and be who she is on the inside?
It may take her 22 years to see that looks do not define beauty, actions do.
But honestly, do you wake up everyday and say “I am beautiful”? Are you proud of who you are inside and out?
You should be….
Some of the products I use on Fi’s hair and skin (that I would swear by):
Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion – Fragrance Free – 18 oz • Aveeno • $5.49–28.99
SheaMoisture Curl & Shine Conditioner, Coconut & Hibiscus • Shea Moisture • $3.59
SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie • Shea Moisture • $9.99