When I was a teen, I struggled with feeling good about myself and my body. It’s crazy to think about that now since I had everything going for me. I didn’t fit the über skinny expectations for anything like a modeling career, but I really didn’t have a thing to worry about. That’s why the moment I heard I was going to have a little girl, I committed myself to being strong and a role model to my daughter.
When she was born with a limb difference, my head wouldn’t stop thinking about how culture is harsh on a person with all of his or her limbs… I realized it was up to me to make sure Jordan has an incredibly strong self-awareness and confidence. And I wouldn’t be able to do it alone. I would needs friends, activities and organizations to partner with to make sure Jordan hears the message that she’s just right… even while media and culture says otherwise. I want to do what I can to help her stay strong and prevent the effects of bullying. I guess that’s why I always think about the picture I have of little baby Jordan in her “perfect” shirt. I loved it. I love it. She is perfect.
I know other parents worry about these kinds of things. But I am unsure how to feel when I read about a mom who had her seven-year-old daughter’s ears pinned to help prevent bullying. You can watch the story about it on ABC News. Surgery at seven? That seems so extreme, but I’m not the mom of this little girl. So she has the choice to do what she thought was best. The interesting part is how the mom talks about how most of the bullying came from adults and not children at this point in her daughter’s life. I kind of understand this since I’ve had more adults express open shock about Jordan’s difference. Children tend to stare or point or just openly ask what’s going on.
My form of bullying prevention is self confidence, not surgery. I want to make sure I have the resources to support Jordan and any of her friends. Here are a few that I’m really focused on these days:
Operation Beautiful – This is a really cool site that talks about the beauty in all of us with a simple note. The woman who started the campaign encourages us all to leave notes in public restrooms that remind you that you’re beautiful. Seriously. It’s such a simple great idea.
Girls Leadership Institute – I haven’t had a chance to personally get involved with this group yet, but I am inspired by the positive message it sends to girls and the many opportunities it brings for girls to learn about confidence and leadership.
BlogHer’s Own Your Beauty – This is a yearlong conversation on the BlogHer site that is focused on what women find beautiful. I’ve found some incredible stories here. I highly recommend it.
Please share me your links. I think the more we work together, the more positive we can share with the general public and our children, the better the childhood… The better our world!