I am very excited to participate in the “Let’s Make Girl’s Unstoppable” campaign by Dove. They have produced a self-esteem activity guide for young girls ages 8 and up. It contains activities for mothers and daughters to do together.
You might ask: why has this resource been produced? What is it about? How will it help me?
Well, as I was reading through the guide, I felt the feeling of reassurance for what I have been doing with my little girl. Also, there were so many areas that I just wanted to underline several times and start implementing immediately! Let me share one paragraph from the guide:
"Research shows a link between a mother’s influence and her daughter’s ideas about health and body confidence. If mothers can become more aware of their attitudes towards their own bodies and those of their daughters, they can help their daughters stand up to the powerful influences in our culture that undermine their own sense of beauty and self-worth."
I am a firm believer in being there for my children, and that it is a mother’s primary responsibility to nurture and help build her children’s self-image and confidence. I was shocked to read this part from the guide;
"Satisfaction with body image decreases as girls progress to adolescence. While 75% of 8-9 year old girls say they like the way they look, but by age of 12 -13 years, only 56% of girls like their appearance." (Teens Before Their Time 2000)
Wow… really? My daughter, Rachel is going to be 8 this August and I guess she sometimes says things like, “I wish I had curly hair like so-and-so” or, “I wish I had blue eyes…” You see, I am Asian (Japanese), and Mr. TRH is Caucasian with fair skin and red hair. Rachel has silky brown hair with red streaks all over; it is such beautiful hair. Instead of her daddy’s blue eyes, she inherited my dark brown eyes. I might be biased but I think she is one beautiful little girl and I always tell her that. She also loves to hear the story how my husband and I named her. Her first name, Rachel, means “beautiful, beloved one”, her Japanese middle name is Kokomi; the Chinese characters we used for her name are “heart” and “beauty”. We wanted her to grow up to be beautiful, not only on the outside but on the inside also.
There are several meaningful activities in the guide, and I decided to do Activity No. 3, which is “Where I’m From.” We talked about how our family is unique and different, with mixed race and culture and all. Also, I talked about how I grew up in Japan, and my daughter’s heritage. Then I decided to have a cooking session and teach her how to make sushi!
She loves cracking eggs.
It's ready to roll!
It is so much fun to work in the kitchen side by side. We girls love to talk.
Ta da! Rachel's first sushi! Her daddy ate it all after the photo shoot and that made her so happy.
I turned 40 this year, and I have met and observed many women. Looking beautiful is really only skin deep. It doesn’t last forever. I think after a certain age, how we have been living our lives and our character matters more for making us beautiful. To me, over time, qualities like genuineness, kindness, passion for something you love, so-on-and-so-forth shines through. As a mother, I hope I can help build a foundation that lasts a lifetime for my daughter to feel beautiful no matter what or when.