What would you say to your younger self? I'd give my teenage self an earful! I've partnered with Dove at Publix to share #MySelfEsteemStory with you.
Have you ever looked at an old photograph of yourself and thought, "Oh, I wish I could go back and tell that young lady how amazing she was?" Or, how skinny she was, or how smart she was? I had a moment like this the other day when I was rummaging through old photos to post some throwback pictures for my best friend's birthday. I found a photograph of us on a boat. We must have been around 15 or 16, and all I could recall about that day was how self-conscious I felt.
I developed large breasts very early in life and by the time I was in high school, my breasts were much larger than most of my classmates. My large chest made me feel huge. I thought that I was overweight. I couldn't fit into cute bikinis like my friends, or wear anything with spaghetti straps. I couldn't borrow my friends' t-shirts for fear of stretching them out, and when you're in high school you know that borrowing your friends' clothes is like a right of passage.
I wish I could go back and tell that young girl that she looked just fine. That her worth wasn't determined by the size of her waist or her chest. I wish I could tell her not to fret about surface appearances but to do the hard work of laying the foundation to become a good human being. I wish I could tell her not to let her own insecurities dictate how she treated others. Oh man, there are SO many things I wish I knew back then. It's taken me over 30 years, but I feel like I'm just starting to realize that I am so much more than what I see in the mirror.
Now that I've got teenage nieces, I'm so thankful for brands like Dove. For over a decade, Dove has been helping parents, mentors, teachers, and youth leaders deliver self-esteem education through the Dove Self-Esteem project. They've reached over 20 million young people so far. I hope my nieces are next, then my young daughter down the road. No one should be deterred in reaching their goals due to low body confidence or anxieties over his or her appearance. I wish I'd heard this message when I was a kid.
To encourage confidence in the tweens and teens in your life, I've put together a few ideas gift ideas for teens to help boost their self-esteem and confidence.
- Positive message planner: I found a Be-You-Tiful planner at a local craft store and it's perfect! It sends the message that your girl should be herself and is beautiful just the way she is.
- Positive wall decor: It's always a good idea to have a visual reminder that you are awesome. I think this one fits the bill and I love the floral accents.
- Dove personal care products: It's hard being a teenager! Your body is constantly changing and having the right kinds of personal care products can really help your confidence. I chose a shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, antiperspirant, and body wash, all from my local Publix.
- Lip glosses: A little bit of lip gloss is perfect for tweens and teens. It's not officially makeup so you don't have to worry about them going overboard.
Ready to join the conversation about self-esteem and teens?
Share your story on social media using #MySelfEsteemStory and #DoveSelfEsteemProject
Thank you to Mirum for sponsoring this post on behalf of Dove at Publix. All opinions are my own.