I wrote Little Girls and Their Ponytails to teach girls to love who they are. I also created the ponytails pageant and Beautiful and Wonderful Me Workshop for that same reason. Girls deserve to love who they are no matter what. Self-love is important. Girls need to know that we change. We grow, we get big, small, we have blemishes; we have up days, down days, natural days, make-up days, glamorous moments, and sweat pants hair in a ponytail or in a puff days. We have to love ourselves on EVERY one of those days. I wrote this story because I have looked in the mirror a time or two wondering what someone else would think if I wore this or changed my hair like that. I spent a bit of time with the oppression of those insecurities and I don’t want girls to spend as much time in that space. So I teach self-love but first I decided to love me on all of my days and in all of my ways. Changing, nipping, tucking, straightening, or pulling still won’t be good enough for those with a skewed perspective of beauty. So no matter what changes or does not change…I will self-love me!
My days are filled with noise. Noises like the alarm clock or sounds of cars in traffic. Noises like encouragement or discouragement. Lovers or haters. Then there is noise that I create on purpose. I sing. I talk out loud. Even when no one else is around. I listen to music. All noise. I go to public places when I am writing, editing, researching, or studying. I do my best work on projects with noise. I have spent time living and traveling alone. I have learned the value of silence in those times. I do my best work on me in silence. In quiet times I learn about myself. Loving myself. I reflect on the real me. Who I am when no one is around to judge or to congratulate me. I ponder on why I react, feel, or see things in one way or another. I ponder. I celebrate. I acknowledge progress and growth. I pray. I pray to continue doing the good things and for help to do better or stop doing the not so good things. I reflect on how I feel about myself. I think of whether I have been slacking in areas or being too hard on myself in other areas. I think about whether I have allowed others to influence my personal thoughts about myself. So much happens in silence. My goal in silence is to be present and aware of who I am outside of the noise. Not to fill every moment of my days with noise. Silence helps me to see my true self, love my true self, and explore the areas that can be better…
I firmly believe that a foundation of self-love is essential for life. I had the pleasure of spending the last few months with a group of girls, ages 4-11yrs old, who attended the Beautiful and Wonderful Me Workshop. I typically open the sessions by asking the girls their name, their Happy Word (chosen in the 1st session), and what they love most about themselves. In the first session girls were either unsure or answered with shoes or a piece of clothing instead of a personal characteristic. In the last session 95% of the girls said they loved their hair most and the other 5% still chose something like their smile or eyes. Absolutely beautiful! Huge difference…Self-love is taught and unfortunately so is self-hate often through silence. I am grateful that we were able to teach self-love through these sessions. During the Beautiful and Wonderful Me Workshop we saturate girls with self-love, true beauty, and affirmations from music choices to dialogue, activities, and décor. All of this helps to shape her view of herself to love everything about who she is! We did it! I am so excited for these beautiful and wonderful girls. How will you teach self-love today?
Too many little girls only know hate. Mom hates who she is so she doesn’t have an example of a women who loves herself. Statistically only 11% of girls identify with being beautiful. Yes hate! Often taught without saying a word. I know this is harsh but little girls who attempt to commit suicide or to harm themselves because they hate apart of who they are is harsh. It is painful to face this reality affecting too many little girls. We must openly state the problem to rescue generations of girls from drowning in a pool of self-hate. Girls with a foundation of self-love are progressive in education, relationally, and socially. They are likely to be leaders, care for others, and reach goals. People who don’t love who they are, do not care about how they live. Too many little girls only know hate. How will they know love? The mission is simple. Teach self-love. Church…are you willing? Teachers…do you care? Parents…is teaching girls self-love necessary?