Date: February 16, 2015
posted by Women Enough / Comments: 7 Comments / Tags: bathing suit, beauty, body image, boys, motherhood
As a mother of three boys I never really felt that concerned about the campaigns where the focus was on how to raise young girls and empower them with self esteem, how it is important to change the message that the fashion industry sends and how we need to start changing our own behaviors as mothers to set an example.
But then one day we were looking at a movie and one of my boys said that this actress was fat. As I looked at the screen I could not believe my eyes. This character was far from being fat. In fact, she was a very beautiful lady who in my eyes was just glowing.
That was a wakeup call for me. That is when I realised that being the mother of three boys I had a responsibility as well. To teach them what is real beauty. What a real woman looks like.
As they grow into young men, I decided that since they will be the ones looking at their wives in the future I need to make them see what I believe beauty is. And it needs to start at home, with me, how I was seeing myself.
If a woman feels beautiful, she glows, and it shows in every aspect of her life.
Being their mother, we are the first woman that our boys see naked. We are the first woman that they look up to. And if we don’t see ourselves as beautiful individuals, then how can we expect them to see us any differently. If we let the media, the fashion industry with their standards and the magazines everywhere influence our young men on what a woman should look like, then we are missing half of the problem. We may do all the campaigns in the world about empowering women with our real beauty; if we forget our boys then the battle will be so much harder to win!
This past summer I decided that I was going to wear a bikini at the beach with my kids for the first time in years. I avoided going swimming because I did not feel comfortable in my own skin. That was then.
I went to a bathing suit store, tried many of them, finally found one that I felt was fit for my body type and we went to the beach. When I heard my boys telling me how beautiful I looked I almost cried. Because I realised right then, that everything starts within you.
The scars of my pregnancies did not matter anymore. Because I had achieved one thing. To teach my boys that even though I did not look like the magazine covers, I was a beautiful woman. And we went to the beach every single day that we could.
And I began to talk to them in a way to make them see that the messages the media was sending were wrong. I showed them over and over the pictures of me pregnant, and I even let them see the scars on my belly as they called it their little house!
Focusing on the little girls to raise them as future powerful and confident woman is vital and necessary. But teaching our boys on how real women look, so that in the future, when they put their eyes on their wives they will make them feel beautiful too, is also important.
We as women, mothers, sisters and friends have a responsibility, and it’s to make the world see us as beautiful as we are.
Valerie Boucher: As a mother of 3 boys that are all into sports, hockey and soccer i am surrounded by men. I feel it is my responsibility to help change the world and it starts at home.