Once upon a time there was a moley little girl who was oblivious to her freckles and moles. There was a little boy in her grade-school classroom who was not so oblivious. One day he walked by her desk and in utter repulsion pointed to one of her moles and said (in a not so library-appropriate voice) "Ewwwww! What is that?!?"
I was mortified. The whole class (which was actually two classes in one classroom-double the embarrassment) turned to see what was disgusting enough to elicit such a response from a grade-school boy.
Thank you very much.
Believe it or not, I was self-conscious in my own skin until halfway through high school. Now it seems ludicrous to have let one comment impact me so thoroughly, but we all know how strongly the spoken word can pierce us straight to the heart (especially a physical appearance comment aimed at a girl on the verge of puberty). If anyone else ever made a negative comment regarding my moley-ness, I sincerely have no recollection of it.
I don't remember the process of overcoming my insecurity.* I just remember adopting my mantra, "God's holy and He made me moley". Catchy isn't it? I should have t-shirts printed. Here's the rub: Moley mamas make moley kids. We're one big, happy, moley family (better print a passel of those shirts). Lest you think Sophia is exempt, she has a couple of small moles and possibly a touch of what might be Vitiligo. Does God know how to knit families together or what?
I desire for each of my girls to exude confidence in who they are - body, mind and soul. The problem is that my brand of beauty doesn't match up with mainstream beauty. Just the other day I stumbled across an article offering at-home remedies to cure moles. The reason? They are ugly. How do I combat such nonsense?
We intentionally celebrate our uniqueness and it looks something like this:
We count our moles for fun (I still outnumber the girls). This doubles as a great way to check for irregularities.
We get to laugh when someone (*cough*Mikayla*cough*) excitedly announces a new mole only to discover it is a blob of melted chocolate.
We get to play connect the dots and create our own body constellations.
We get to tickle moles in armpits and on collarbones.
If ever we dress up as Mexican food for Halloween, we've got the tortilla look covered.
We can laugh when Sophia says she thought one of my moles was a turtle.**
I hope my girls can look to me as an example of someone who is self-assured despite having average looks. Mamas, we need to silence our thoughts when we are looking in the mirror. Little ears hear your self-inflicted criticism, and will mimic your behavior until they believe it about themselves. Whether we feel like supermodels or not, it's time to consider how our view of ourselves is affecting our daughters. Mamas of boys, you are not exempt. Boys need to learn to respect women, and it starts long before they are men. A mama who puts her looks down is encoding this behavior to her son.
Whether it's a muffin top, crooked teeth, permanent scars, a zit on the end of the nose or just a bad hair day, let's instill confidence in our daughters by recognizing and valuing our own beauty.
You owe it to a moley little fourth grade girl.
You Are Beautiful,
P.S. I bet you never thought you'd read the word "moley" so many times in one blog post.
*Sorry to those who were hoping for a 12-step program to overcome melanin insecurities.
**Seriously happened, folks. I have no explanation.