Baby girl, you are so incredibly beautiful. So delicate. So beautifully breakable. And because of that, I am afraid for you.

The world broke me. Like so many beautiful things in this world, I was delicate. And like so many things in this world, I broke. But I didn’t break on my own. I was broken. The world broke me.

The world broke me the first time I heard the lies and believed them. The world spoke through the mouth of a girl, probably broken herself, and I listened.

The world broke me when it whispered I was too big.

I was too big to be beautiful. It told me I needed to be smaller. I needed to be thinner. If I could just lose a few pounds, I would be beautiful.

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The world broke me when it whispered I was too quiet. I was too quiet to be noticed. The world told me I needed to be more confident, more outgoing. If I could just be louder, I would be noticed.

The world broke me when it whispered I was too weak. I was too delicate to be loved. The world told me I needed to be stronger, less likely to break. If I could be stronger, I would be shatterproof. But I was already broken by then, and I thought it was too late to be fixed.

Baby girl, I hope the world doesn’t break you the way it broke me.

You are so incredibly beautiful and so beautifully fragile, and I am afraid for you. I can’t hide you from the lies forever. I can’t protect you from the whispers. All I can do is hope and pray and raise you to see the truth.

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You are beautiful. Always. Your beautiful soul fills your body and overflows into the world. You are perfect just the way you are. You are not too anything. Not too big. Not too small. Not too quiet. Not too loud. Not too strong. Not too weak. You are just right. You are perfect in the eyes of everyone who matters. Please remember that.

I promise to always affirm both your inner and outer beauty, whether you’re all dolled up for your first date or just waking up with wild hair and pajamas on. You are beautiful.

I promise to always affirm the beauty of others . . . including myself.

If I show you that all women are beautiful, maybe you will be more likely to believe it yourself. We are all beautiful.

I promise to do what I can to protect you from a world that enjoys breaking pretty things. I promise to teach you about the value and beauty of your body, a value that demands your body to always be treated with love and respect. Your body is beautiful.

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But baby girl, if you find yourself broken one day, know this—all broken souls can be fixed. All wounds can heal. But you can’t fix your brokenness by yourself. And I can’t fix your brokenness for you. But I know where to lead you. I hope I can protect your precious, fragile, beautiful soul, but if it breaks, I know where you can be healed. I know the person who can put the pieces of your broken soul back together.

God can create beauty using our brokenness like He did with me. I hope the world doesn’t break you, but if it does, I hope you know you can come to me, and I’ll lead you to the place where you can find healing.

You are beautiful in your fragile wholeness, you will be beautiful in your brokenness, and you will be beautiful when you’ve been put back together.

You will always be beautiful. You will always be perfect. You are just right as you are, no matter what. But your mama has her dreams, and no mother wants to see her daughter hurt, so I hope the world doesn’t break you, baby girl.

Shannon Whitmore

Shannon Whitmore currently lives in northwestern Virginia with her husband, Andrew, and their two children, John and Felicity. When she is not caring for her children, Shannon enjoys writing for her blog, Love in the Little Things, reading fiction, and freelance writing on topics such as marriage, family life, faith, and health. She has experience serving in the areas of youth ministry, religious education, sacramental preparation, and marriage enrichment.