Mum’s message to her daughter: “She is perfect just the way she is and so am I”

Rachel Brathen

In this image-conscious age of personal branding and media bombardment, every parent ponders how to ensure their kids grow up feeling confident and content in themselves. One mum’s approach to happy kids really struck a chord with us, because not only does it make perfect sense, it benefits the whole family.

Setting the best example

Rachel Brathen aka Yoga Girl explains that teaching her daughter self-love is “more to do with the example I set by loving myself than the words I tell her” and we are certain she’s hit the nail right on the head.

“This girl will grow up loving herself unconditionally not because of what I tell her, but because of what I tell myself,” Rachel insists.

Rachel explains her resolve was sparked by some feelings she was having about herself – and her own body – ahead of a photo shoot. Insecurities began to swirl (we can relate!) and it stopped her in her tracks.

“A little voice at the back of my head saying, ‘Do some sit-ups! Lose some weight!’ and it drives me CRAZY. It’s a judgmental voice. Super mean. Telling me I’m lesser-than. When I listen to this voice, I feel like absolute crap,” Rachel said. “But I don’t want to change anything about who I am!”

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This girl will grow up loving herself unconditionally not because of what I tell her, but because of what I tell myself. I think about this a lot – how to instill a natural sense of self-love in my little girl and I know it has more to do with the example I set by loving myself than the words I tell her. . . I’m flying to Los Angeles in a little over a week for a cover shoot for a major women’s magazine. When they approached me I was super excited (it’s a big deal!) but then, doubt started creeping in. They sent me examples of what the photographer has shot before (major movie stars and fashion models) – every single cover graced by a super fit, mega toned, skinny celebrity. I’m 8 months postpartum but let’s be serious – I wasn’t a size zero before pregnancy and I haven’t exactly done anything to “get in shape” after I had the baby. I’ve been pretty content lying on the couch eating (now vegan) ice cream and ordering take-out because we’ve been too tired to cook. I’m practicing yoga and working but mostly just hanging out with the baby in my PJs, not really thinking about my body or my appearance at all. . . But now, with this shoot looming, there is a little voice at the back of my head saying “Do some sit-ups! Lose some weight!” and it drives me CRAZY. It’s a judgmental voice. Super mean. Telling me I’m lesser-than. When I listen to this voice, I feel like absolute crap. But I don’t want to change anything about who I am! Maybe with time I’ll have a flat belly again but I don’t want to feel rushed for anything to change because of the judgmental story I tell myself about not being skinny enough for the cover of a magazine. I don’t want to do sit-ups. I don’t want to lose weight. I don’t want to get off the couch! I want to stay here, just as I am, rolling out my yoga mat a few times a week and eating ice cream whenever I feel like it. I turn to my baby girl and think about what I would tell her if she had these thoughts about herself. I would tell her that she is beautiful. So beautiful. And that this beauty isn’t dependent on a scale, or a magazine, or the size of her clothing. I’d tell her that she is so perfect – just the way she is. . . And… So am I☺️

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Love thyself!

Rachel saw in herself the very thing she hopes not to see in her daughter – a lack of self-acceptance and a pretty grumpy inner dialogue. What she’s really seeking is confirmation (from herself!) that she’s enough, just as she is.

By learning to like all the bits of her – flawed or not – she reasons that not only is she letting herself off the hook – she’s setting a great example for her daughter.

“I don’t want to feel rushed for anything to change because of the judgmental story I tell myself about not being skinny enough for the cover of a magazine. I don’t want to do sit-ups. I don’t want to lose weight. I don’t want to get off the couch!” Rachel posted.

We feel you, Rachel!! #fistbump

Celebrating ourselves

“I want to stay here, just as I am, rolling out my yoga mat a few times a week and eating ice cream whenever I feel like it,” she continued. This seems like a very good plan!

This great mum hopes that by working on self-acceptance and self-love, she can influence her daughter to feel good about who she is – and her body and how she looks – too.

“I turn to my baby girl and think about what I would tell her if she had these thoughts about herself. I would tell her that she is beautiful. So beautiful. And that this beauty isn’t dependent on a scale, or a magazine, or the size of her clothing. I’d tell her that she is so perfect – just the way she is. And… So am I”

#Truth

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🍍❤️ The view from our bedroom patio is so magical (but we never spend any time out here!). I want to renovate and put a new deck (this one is not steady enough) so we can sit out here and watch the moon rise from the ocean. I want Luna to grow up knowing the moon always near… I’m so thankful for this little bundle of joy! She’s trying to stand up without holding onto anything now and when we play she holds onto my hand, finds her balance and lets me go for a few seconds at a time. She’ll be standing steady on her own soon! Every day is a new adventure for shark baby. I’m just so grateful I get to be a part of it🙏🏼🦈😍 @loving.lealuna #8months #happiness #family #joy #islandlife

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