Mama, You’re Beautiful


Mama, You’re Beautiful

Mama, you’re beautiful. No matter what has happened in this world that has made you think otherwise, I’m going to tell you right now, you are gorgeous and you are worthy of all the love the world has to offer. Please don’t let your experiences make you think anything different. 

“She should really go on a diet.”

I remember hearing these words from a family member who was speaking about me when I was a little girl. I couldn’t have been more than six or seven and we were at the beach with some family we didn’t see very often. I remember this exact moment as I was so happy to be playing in the sand and spending time with my cousins. Before hearing this, I didn’t have a care in the world and I remember it being such a fun day. When I heard what had been said about me, it was like a switch was flipped. I instantly became aware of every part of my body that may have looked different from those of other kids my age and I was mortified I was in a bathing suit. I couldn’t tell you what we did the rest of that vacation or how the remainder of the day turned out, but I can tell you that something changed in me after hearing those words and I was always conscious of my body from that moment on. 

I was always a bigger girl; it’s just how my body was. I held onto a lot of weight in my elementary and middle school years, and I always felt different. I was terrified someone was going to point out what I already was thinking about 24/7. In fourth grade, I would jump on the trampoline after school thinking that it would help me lose weight if I jumped for a while so that the boy I had a crush on would like me back.

I remember one time, a group of us kids were having a snack while a football game was on. Friends and family were at a cookout, and one of my family members came over and took the chips I was eating away from only me in front of everyone and said that I didn’t need anymore. It was absolutely humiliating. I used to cut the tags out of my clothes so that when I went to a friend’s house, they wouldn’t see what size I wore because I was so ashamed of who I was and what I looked like. 

One time in middle school, someone brought up repelling down a mountain. My brothers and I had played around repelling off of our back deck when we were younger with my stepdad so I brought it up to the class thinking, “they’ll think that’s cool.” I’ll never forget what happened, however. One of the boys immediately said, “I”m surprised she didn’t break the rope” and then I heard all the giggles from the kids in the room. It was like no matter what I did, I was constantly reminded that I was different and felt not good enough because of my weight. 

The way people treated me and the comments people made about me were not ok and had lasting effects on me.

I truly cannot remember a time when I didn’t think about the way I looked as a child. This is heartbreaking to me now as an adult woman raising a daughter. I am appalled thinking about how certain adults would talk about me in a way that was so judgmental and treat me differently than the other kids. These actions and comments were not made out of love or in an effort to try to help me be better. They were hateful and ruined my self-esteem.

I write this because I’m now 34, am raising my own children, and I am very aware of what’s being said around them and how they’re perceiving these comments. I never want my child to feel like they aren’t good enough because of the way they look. I have learned to love my body over the years despite everything and I am so proud of all that it’s been able to do, but it has taken a long time to get here. In my household, I don’t tolerate negative talk about anyone’s body and I teach my children that everyone looks different and that’s ok. My hope for my kids is that they love themselves, embrace their differences, and never make a child feel badly for the way they look. I also hope that they grow into adults who do the same for their children.

Mama, you’re beautiful. If you had an experience similar to mine while growing up, know that I see you and I feel for you. Also know that you are amazing. You have made it through the trenches and you are a better woman for it. You’re gorgeous and strong, and you deserve all the happiness in the world.


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