What’s your beauty legacy?

As a mum to a nearly 8 year old daughter (and a nearly 2 year old daughter) I’m very conscious that my words and actions are absorbed and remembered, so I try to be very careful when it comes to self-esteem, self-confidence, body and beauty matters.

About 18 months ago, my (then 6 year old) daughter came out with “you have to be skinny to be pretty” which really scared me, as we don’t talk about weight or dieting at home, so this has come from peers and the media. That day I vowed that I would be doubly careful about what I said and did in front of my girls.

Dove has recently launched a self-esteem campaign to encourage women to see the beauty in themselves for the next generation of young women. I am lucky enough that my mum never spoke negatively about her own physique or beauty, so I grew up without hang-ups. My aim is to pass that on to my own girls now.

Grandma with her granddaughters l What's your beauty legacy? l www.FranglaiseMummy.com l French and English Parenting and Lifestyle Ramblings

My mum with my daughters

Dove has found that how women feel and talk about beauty has a profound effect on the self-esteem of girls around them, meaning it is so important for us mums of daughters to think very carefully before opening our mouths.

Dove’s research* reveals that 69%**of women say their child has seen them engaging in negative body language habits, with more than a third of mothers (34%) admitting that their child has mimicked their negative beauty behaviours. With these statistics in mind, Dove wants women to pledge their positive beauty legacy by sharing who in their life inspires them using #FeelBeautifulFor.

What's your beauty legacy? l Mother and daughter by pool l www.FranglaiseMummy.com l French and English Parenting and Lifestyle Ramblings

Despite having body hang-ups I try and keep them hidden around my daughters

Whilst I am constantly telling my girls they are beautiful, it’s not exactly something I say about myself! Fortunately I’ve got a wonderful husband who tells me I’m beautiful several times a day, even when I’m make-up-free and dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, so our daughters are growing up hearing these positive words (he tells them they’re beautiful too!). Now whenever I get ready for a night-out L, our eldest, tells me “you look beautiful Mummy”. And every time instead of saying “no I don’t”, I accept my husband’s and my daughter’s compliments and I simply say “thank-you”.

Dove invited me to think about what my beauty legacy is, and so L and I made up our own lists about what we think is beautiful about ourselves, and what we think is not beautiful. L also made a list about what she thought is and isn’t beautiful about me. Here is the result….

I’m so relieved that L’s only hang-up is a scar on her arm, and that she doesn’t seem to have a clue about what I don’t like about myself. This reassures me that I’m doing something right.

So what can you do?

Dove has created a variety of self-esteem building materials and activity guides for women to discuss with young girls (aged 7-17) in their lives, so they can take steps to improve their self-esteem. The full range of 1:1 workshop files can be downloaded here.

Dove have also got a great video about the beauty legacy that us mums are leaving our young daughters, which I highly recommend to all women who are some kind of role model to young girls.

Finally, why not try the same exercise that L and I did in the video? What do you and your daughter think is/isn’t beautiful about yourselves? The results may surprise you….Other than that, keep positive people and let’s encourage our girls to grow up with self-esteem, self-confidence and self-respect.

* Dove Girls’ Self Esteem Research 2010 and 2013
** 2014 One Poll survey of 2,000 UK women aged 30-55 who have a relationship with a girl aged 7-17.

Disclosure: I was remunerated by Dove for my time in taking part in this campaign, however this is a campaign I feel very strongly about.


13 Responses

  1. This is such a wonderful campaign with an important message for us all! I wear make-up every day, without fail, partly because I think it makes me look better but also because I like doing it for myself, it’s a ritual that gives me confidence. Now I wonder what that’s saying to my daughter about how I feel about myself without make-up. It’s got me thinking. I LOVE the video of the two of you together – L seems very comfortable in front of the camera and clearly you have such an amazing bond between you. And just for the record I think you’re drop dead gorgeous Mrs *mwah* x
    Michelle Reeves (bodfortea) recently posted…Can a perfect fitting bra flatter my flatter chest?My Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      A bit of a secret here – I’m too lazy to put make-up on every day, I just don’t find the time (or energy), so hats off to you for putting make-up on! I love this campaign too, it’s such an important one! Thank you for the lovely compliments and yes we do have a great bond, I feel very lucky 🙂 x

  2. I absolutely ADORE this post and your video. I have to say I got a little emotional too hearing and seeing you both talk about what you think is beautiful about yourselves (and not).

    I’m so conscious now I’m a mum to Elsie of what I say to myself and to others about how I look or how I feel. My Mum is an absolute stunner however has severe hang ups with how she looks and I’d say that definitely affected my confidence for years. It’s only really since I’ve hit my thirties that I’ve actually began to realise my own beauty and even though like EVERYONE there are many parts of me which I’m not too fond of, I’m doing my best to love ’em and be grateful for them.

    I’m always telling Elsie that she is beautiful but more importantly that she is also clever, kind, funny, talented too. I love this campaign and I love that you and your daughter have been a part of it. Well done to you both. XXX
    Katie / Pouting In Heels recently posted…How to get your wardrobe winter readyMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thank you so much lovely, it was quite emotional writing/filming it. It’s so good to get over your hang-ups and accept yourself for who/what you are, I think it gets easier with age too 😉 It really is a great campaign! xx

  3. Catherine Lee says:

    What fantastic article, video and inspiring clip from Dove too. This is something I have also been very conscious of when getting dressed, discussing clothes or our bodies with my daughter (age 6) We have a very ‘open door’ policy in our house which I hope will encourage them not to be self conscious, we’re also very matter-of-fact about how bodies change when we grow up.
    We used to take baths together when she was a bit younger and she would giggle about my wobbly bits! I’ve very intentionally told her how proud I am to have a wobbly tummy because I’ve got her and her brother to show for it. I also never discuss things that I’m unhappy about in front of her.
    It’s great that this campaign will get people to think about their conscious or subconscious behaviours and consider their impact 🙂
    Well done, you!!

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thank you, I’m so glad you like it. It sounds like you’ve got a very healthy way of doing things in your house, it’s scary how young they are when they start to pick up on things and then it’s very hard to undo these things! Thanks for commenting 🙂 x

  4. Mel says:

    How sweet that your husband tells you how beautiful you are several times a day! When Hubby does, I tend to shrug, but you are right, for our girls to be confident about themselves, we have to show them we are happy with our own image.
    Mel recently posted…Give It Some Welly!My Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      It wasn’t until I started thinking about this blog post that I realised quite how much he does it – literally several times a day, no matter what state I look, although more when I’ve made an effort! It’s definitely down to us to show our girls how to have self-esteem.

  5. Kohl Mama says:

    Great post. I’m just finishing a post actually on why I don’t call my daughter pretty and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. This is a fabulous campaign, however where is the parallel for boys? I’m absolutely all for building the self esteem of girls as the media perpetuates a skinny ideal which is far far from healthy. Off to check out Doves campaign because I feel really strongly about it.
    Kohl Mama recently posted…Why I’m Becoming A Breastfeeding Peer SupporterMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      It really is a great campaign, and I feel very strongly about combatting media’s negative view of girls/women that are not perfect. Loved your blog post about not calling your daughter pretty – a very interesting one.

  6. Maria (notyouraveragebaby) says:

    What a marvellous post! Such an important campaign to be a part of. I’m a mum to a five month old daughter and am being extra careful not to put myself down in front of her even at this early age. Like the previous commenter, I tend to emphasise intelligence/kindness over aesthetic beauty but I can’t help it sometimes, my daughter is just so beautiful! I’d be heartbroken to be responsible for passing on poor body-image to her. Children are so exposed to unhealthy ‘truths’ perpetuated by the media – A better you: lose 10lbs in a month!! Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels!! – that it’s extra important we destroy these myths at home. Like your husband, my partner constantly tells me I’m beautiful. Men (the good ones anyway) are literally blind to our lumpy/bumpy bits, it’s time we were too. Brilliant post! Maria x
    Maria (notyouraveragebaby) recently posted…Great goods in small parcels.My Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thanks, it’s such a great campaign! And it’s crazy how much our kids (in particular our girls) pick up on when we don’t think they’re listening, or understand what we’re saying.

  1. 17/10/2014

    […] Read the rest of the post at its original source by clicking here. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge