What I love about myself: Physically, I have always loved my eyes. Emotionally, I have always loved my ability to relate to and warmly embrace so many different types of people.
My biggest challenge in accepting my body and beauty: My biggest challenge growing up was realizing that most people don’t care about what you look like. I spent my teens and my 20s trying to shrink the width of my hips, only to come to realize in my mid-30s that my hips are a part of who I am no one really cares about their size. Peer pressure will always exist, but it needs to be combated with education. Life is short. We’ll all be dead and gone before we know it. I’ve come to realize that I’m not going to waste one minute worrying about things that “just won’t matter 100 years from now.”
My biggest support in learning to appreciate myself: My husband and my own personal growth process. To some extent, self-awareness and wisdom do come with age.
Beauty is: Beauty truly is everywhere. To believe that beauty is only physical is to miss the bigger part of God’s plan.
Why I am strong: I am strong because I have an incredible support network around me. My family and my husband believe in me and that gives me all the strength I need to believe in myself.
Why I am beautiful: I am beautiful because I have unique talents that can be used to make the world a better place.
What women must know: Women, especially young women, should know that they are special and it is their own uniqueness that makes them beautiful. If everyone was a supermodel, what a boring place this world would be. Education is key. It’s important to teach young women about the gifts they do have and to teach them to celebrate these gifts. I believe that God gives everyone an equal basket of gifts. The trick is to identify your gifts and learn how to use them. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that our society values certain gifts over others and this can make identifying our own gifts more difficult. The key to overcoming our attachment to physical beauty is to teach our young people to identify and value all gifts. Everyone can’t have everything, so we need to celebrate what we do have and work together to combine our gifts to make the world a better place. The young woman who is a good artist, or a good student, or a good seamstress, or a good mother should know that her gift is no more or less important that then anyone else’s gift.