And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!
Please watch THIS to begin.
I am so excited to promote Dove’s Self Esteem Movement and to invite you to participate with me this weekend in the first ever Dove Self Esteem Weekend where one hour of your time can make a difference. Visit this site to find ideas for self esteem activities you can participate in over the weekend and place on a map. By joining this movement, we are being asked…what do you know now that you wish you would have known at 13?
To Thine Own Self Be True.
I am a woman. Someone’s daughter. A lady, a girl, a female, a what-have-you, but I join the other millions of double-x chromosomed beings in this amazing place called womanhood. And while I have walked years on this Kotex-buying, perfume-sampling, leg-shaving, tear-jerking, hand-holding, nail-painting, hair-dyeing, love-falling, soul-satisfying path, it wasn’t until I was lying on a table holding Brett’s hand watching a wand circle over my jellied belly and hearing the nurse say “Right there…yup, it’s a girl” that it hit me. This being-a-girl thing.
It’s one thing to find yourself, to know yourself, to love yourself and dwell confidently as a woman in a world that can seem to gnaw at your perceptions with expectations to be smarter, prettier, richer, funnier, faster, better, different from any marvelous thing you already are.
But, how will I raise my girls to know this? How will I teach them to believe that they are as amazing as I know them to be?
I wish I could have known what I know now back then.
When I wore Escape perfume just because I heard the guy I liked loved it when really, it was too sweet for me and gave me an asphyxiating headache every time I wore it.
When I drew in a mole above my lip with a chocolate eyeliner because Cindy Crawford had one, and everybody thought she was pretty.
When I cried because my mom bought me knock-off Keds instead of the real ones and I thought everyone would think I wasn’t cool. At least not cool like Jorie Kutzy because she had the real blue label on hers.
When I wore long shirts that covered the butt of my jeans because I thought it made me look less fat.
I wish I would have known that Confidence is Beautiful.
I wish I could take that girl I was and tell her from my grown-up self…
Be yourself. You will stand out. I promise. Just be you.
In my thirties, through both the joys and hardships of my life, I feel I am finally arriving to the very comfortable place of knowing myself, accepting myself, and celebrating the intricate infrastructure of assets and flaws, talents and fears, strengths and struggles. I own them and revere them.
The women I think as most beautiful in life are always, always…the confident ones. And the traits I remember about my favorite people are never their waistline or their face symmetrics, how well they did in school or how much money their parents made. No, it’s their infectious laughter. The way they scrunch up their nose when they smile. The way they freely dance, run to hold a baby, sing off-tune, rock out Navaho jewelry at a black-tie event, compliment others, accept a compliment, look for beauty and believe in who they are without any apology. The way they proudly, beautifully swim against the current.
Don’t quite fit in? Fantastic. Not like everyone else? Even better. Curves? Embrace them. Freckles? Love them. Braces? Own them. Laugh lines? Rock them. Take everything you are–your background, your family, your history, your story, your community, your style, your job, your dreams, your talents, your body, your humor, your sorrow, your joys and make them yours. Be ashamed of nothing. Make the most of what you have and Girl, make it look damn good…because you can.
And when you doubt yourself, when you feel unsure, let these words fuel you: To Thine Own Self Be True.
To Thine Own Self Be True.
To Thine Own Self Be True.
…and no one can ever take that away from you.
Are there days ahead where I console the tears of my teenage girl because someone made fun of her or will I watch her try to be someone else while she figures it all out? I’m sure there are, and that kills me. But I will show them the way. I will celebrate their strengths and help them use their struggles to balance it all out, to learn something new, to feel the victory that comes when you conquer hardship, when you discover a little more amazingness about yourself.
Not caring what people think is difficult and, as one who just wants everyone to be happy, I struggle sometimes with the choices I make and what people will think of them. But I am always happier when, in a moment of doubt, I return to that peaceful, comfortable place of To Thine Own Self Be True.
What I’m really trying to say here is, Dammit 13-Year-Old-Self, you have no idea how fabulous you are. But you are. Breathe it in. And let it out. You are fabulous. And when you are true to yourself, you will grow. No, you will soar.
I think women are amazing. Hell, we can thrust living beings out of our bodies in one grimacing push. That, in itself, is impressive. But we have to learn to celebrate our beautiful differences…for ourselves, for our children.
In celebrating this weekend and the power of girl’s self-esteem I’ve collaborated with jewelry designer Whitney Hill of Belkai Designs to create a piece I am so proud of. I’ve been wearing it all week and feel empowered just in doing so. I can’t wait to have my girls wear this same necklace, and to know they are learning and believing this powerful truth: To Thine Own Self Be True.
10% of the profits of each necklace sold will go to Girls, Inc.–inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold. And certainly, to be true to themselves. Don’t forget, for a limited time, use the code ‘kelle’ at check-out for 10% off. A perfect gift for a teenage girl, I’m thinking. But, then again, I’m 31 and need to be reminded too.
And, we are giving away one Empower Necklace to a random commenter on this post. Tell me, what do you wish you could tell your 13-year old self? Winner will be announced Saturday evening.
Feeling blessed to know the beautiful women and girls in this post, many of which have weathered some pretty rough storms in life. And feeling blessed to share the rich world of womanhood with them, with you and to passionately accept this role of empowering the future for our girls.
…and props to Diggy for turning me on to the Matisyahu song.