Did you know that more than 10,000 people every month Google the question “Am I Ugly?”…and most of these people are young girls. It’s shocking to think, but the social pressures facing our kids are brutal. We live in a world of airbrushed reality, plastered with images children are mislead to aspire to. What are they supposed to believe? Who are they supposed to believe?
I’m a huge fan of TedTalks and this one really hit home. Pressures mounting on the evolving self-confidence of our children are negatively impacting their lives and development. Who are your kids looking to for inspiration when you tell them one thing and the world tells them another?
Meaghan Ramsey of the Dove Self-Esteem Project talks about how we can help change all of this by educating and talking to our children about body image and self-confidence, by becoming better role models for our children, and by helping to build ‘a world where are kids are free to be the best version of themselves’.
Even though our kids are young, I find myself too often thinking about those really tough years they all face when they are trying to make sense of who they are and are challenged with the pressures of fitting in – and seriously, it troubles me. I want so much for our children to know – without any doubt or hesitancy – how unbelievably special they are, and to be fully grounded in that, and to build strength and confidence in that wisdom that will see them through anything.
I think all children need to know that it is the little imperfections and differences that build our character and make each of us beautiful and unique. Finding the beauty in our gifts and imperfections gives us an awareness and insight to our true sense of self and propels us to move forward with guided direction and value. Truly knowing yourself and accepting who you are is a very powerful thing. If you don’t know who you are, you are limiting who you can be.
I’ve just never understood why kids are always pushing so hard to ‘fit in’ and pushing out the kids who aren’t like them. I never want our kids to feel like less because they are different in some way. It makes no sense to me. Don’t they see how beautiful our differences are? I hope our children embrace everything about themselves and never try to change because of misguided thoughts. We have to remember that everyone’s idea of perfect (and normal) is different, just as everyone’s gifts are. It’s detrimental to our very being to compare ourselves with others or try to be something that we are not. In all honesty, it makes no sense. God made you just as you are, with purpose and love. You are who he intended for you to be. You should love and celebrate everything about yourself because God created you. We are each wonderfully made individuals, each special in our own different ways. You should never limit yourself by comparison or try to be something you are not. Children need to realize how special they are because that is how God made them, and in that to embrace all the precious gifts that he has given them and express the beauty and love that lives within each and every one. No matter who you are or what you do, your potential is infinite. True beauty always lies within.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
– Psalm 139.14
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