I love meeting a lot of different women (and men) and talking everything related to our bodies. Sadly though I have come across a lot of, especially women, lacking confidence about their looks and their bodies and feeling like they are not enough. When talking about where this insecurity and sense of not being enough comes from it often appears that a lot comes from critical mothers.
I have often wondered where my confidence comes from since it feels like it has always been there. I am lucky to accept and love myself with all my flaws and being very forgiving towards myself. Interesting is that when I look back I don't remember my mother ever criticising the way I looked or dressed or saying anything negative to me. I remember only hearing how nice I looked and how I could wear anything and how everything looked good on me and how I am the most beautiful just woken up in the morning without make up or anything etc.
Today I realise that the lack of criticism towards the way I looked probably laid ground for my confidence and acceptance of myself.
For example, when graduating high school in Sweden many years ago, I remember there was a tradition that everyone wore white, even the boys. I had my gothic period back then and felt I could not wear white and instead I wore a dark purple dress with some white batik pattern (done by myself) that looked amazing with my black hair. Being accepted as looking like me and not looking like everybody else has definitely helped me in not feeling that I need to look a certain way to be accepted or to deserve my own love.
As mothers (and fathers) we have a great responsibility of bringing up our kids to accept and loving themselves. We are all different and we need to embrace this diversity and accept all different kinds of looks and styles and shapes and sizes. I for example was not the typical girly girl I dressed differently and stood out but my mother never tried to push me into looking like everybody else, she was proud of me and she always encouraged my different styles.
I am now a mother and blessed with two teenager boys and I do the same with them. I always tell them how beautiful they are and how nice they look (even though I really don't love their style at that moment:). I also embrace them being different and always encourage them being unique and personal over just looking like everybody else.
Confidence is a daily work and it's not easy especially today with social media bombarding us with images of how we should look. It is important though to make a decision to stand by ourselves no matter what. That we deserve to be loved by ourselves even when we gained a couple of kilos or not having the best hair-day. The love towards ourselves need to be unconditional and it has to be there always. So, start loving yourself and start soaking your loved ones in loving positive comments because it will make a difference!