Rethinking Beautiful

Lily has definitely entered sponge mode, and I’m constantly amazed by each new understanding and skill. She’s cruising around, regularly demonstrating a (fiercely adorable) independent streak, and becoming quite a little talker; this week, she’s been working on uh-oh, peek-a-boo, and the long awaited mama—and I definitely heard her little voice parrot ba-ba-ba after I accidentally called poor Charlotte a butthead.

Because Dmitri and I understand that we need to be really intentional about the behavior and language we use around her, we’ve been working to reduce the number of four-letter words uttered in our house and are focusing instead on finding more creative—and kid-friendly—ways to express ourselves. But yesterday morning, frustrated by too-snug jeans, Mississippi-frizzy hair, and a really impressive pimple on my cheek, the words I used in front of the mirror were far from kind. In fact, my language was so mean—and so potentially destructive– that it really left me wondering when I started to believe that it was acceptable to say things to myself that I’d never dream of saying to another person.

And then I remembered an article I read a few months ago about Operation Beautiful (, a website—and a movement—dedicated to reminding women that real beauty comes from within. To be perfectly honest, I was skeptical; after all, this is a message that I’ve heard a million times before. But after visiting the site and reading through dozens of incredible, anonymous sticky note messages–posted on mirrors in public bathrooms, boxes of drug store hair color, and other totally unexpected places– I was moved. Encouraged. And totally inspired to be so much better.

I’m not sure how to undo so many years of negative self-talk, but I’m positive that helping Lily to understand how valuable she is, regardless of how much she weighs or what she wears, is a solid first step. And while I’m certain that I’ll probably slip up and make a critical comment very once and a while, I feel so much better just knowing that there is this incredibly valuable critical mass of women out there in the world, committed to improving the way we see ourselves and honor one another–just the way we are.



4 Responses to “Rethinking Beautiful”

  1. Great article. Beauty does come from within. I know we’ve all heard that and try to impress it upon ourselves. I think age and maturity brings that thought closer to the forefront so by my “old” age I am really starting to believe it just a bit. Good luck with Lily….sounds like to me you have become a great mother in such a short time.

    • Thanks, Dottie. I’m hoping that Lily– and all of the other boys and girls of her generation– have a much easier time with this lesson than the rest of us :). Have a wonderful week!

  2. Are you kidding, Kate? There’s nothing more beautiful in the world than a mom trying to be the very best mom she can be! Keep it up 🙂

    • Oh, Heather. Sometimes I pretend that I’m close enough to CO that I could, if the need were great enough, pop into to ACHS lounge for some Heather-wisdom–
      but this is definitely a pretty close second :). Thank you.
      Hope your week goes by quickly! It’s almost spring break, right?

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