What My 13-Year Old Niece Taught this Life Coach about Beauty

3 years ago

“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.” – Author Unknown

Dove® launched their Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004 after finding through research that only 2% of women around the world would describe themselves as beautiful.

In my first marriage, I was told that I looked pretty or cute when I would get dressed up, but not once was I ever called beautiful, by my husband in the 14 years we were together. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t recall any man ever telling me I was beautiful.

So, when someone I’ll call Mr. M began sending me text messages during what was a very dark time in my life that said, “Good morning, Beautiful,” it was like a drug and I was hooked. As hard as I tried not to need that drug, I just couldn’t stop. And like any addict, I ignored all the damage that drug was doing to me only for the momentary euphoria of escaping my harmful thoughts and believing that I was beautiful.

It’s unfortunate that I needed someone else to tell me that; it’s unfortunate that I didn’t instinctively understand or acknowledge my own beauty back then – but apparently I wasn’t not alone if you believe the research.

So I pick-up my 13-year old niece, Madison, for dinner the other night and I share this research that Dove® did with her. When I tell her they also completed another study where 72% of 10-to-17-year-olds said they felt tremendous pressure to be beautiful. Her response was simply a surprised,


So, I asked her: “If someone asked you if you felt pressured to be beautiful, what would you say?” Her response: “I don’t need someone to tell me that I’m beautiful. I already know that I’m beautiful.”

As if that wasn’t amazing enough……

Then I say, “And what’s really frightening is that if only 2% of women around the world don’t think of themselves as beautiful, then they’re also not passing that along to…” and she finishes my sentence, “…their daughters.”  

My niece knows at 13 what I didn’t know at 37…but that I’m so grateful to know at 42.

She is beautiful.

I am beautiful.

You are beautiful.


Source for Dove® research: http://www.dove.us/Social-Mission/campaign-for-real-beauty.aspx

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