I’ve always known. I’ve known since the moment I saw each of their faces on that very first sonogram picture. I’ve known since the moment the doctor placed their sweet tiny bodies into my arms. I’ve known since before they were even born.

I’ve known their beauty.

It’s immeasurable. They are my baby girls and their beauty runs deeper than skin and eyes and hair and body. Their beauty is found within their souls. I know this. I will always know this. 

They won’t. 

There will come a day when they don’t feel beautiful. Their hair will look out of place. Their teeth won’t be perfect. They may struggle with their weight or their clothing or their general appearance. I know this because we are women, and women always have moments of insecurity.

I worry about the day that will most certainly find them; that day when they compare themselves to an image they see online, or in a magazine or sitting next to them in class. When that moment comes, I pray they find the strength to believe in themselves and their beautiful bodies. I pray they have the courage to embrace their unique image that was so perfectly made.

Each day I tell my girls they are beautiful. I’ve read articles where mothers discourage use of that word. They say beautiful represents an outside appearance. Instead of using the word beauty, we’re told to say things like strong, kind, intelligent and humorous. 

I understand their logic but I disagree.

At age 14, girls don’t care if they are strong.

At age 14, girls don’t care if they are intelligent.

At age 14, girls don’t care if they are kind.

At age 14, girls want to be beautiful. 

I know this, because I’ve been that age. You have, too. When we’re young, beauty is found in the outside appearance. I want this to change. I want young girls and boys to see beauty within each of their souls, but that’s a gift usually found much later in our lives. 

So I use the word beautiful when I describe my girls. I tell them what that word truly represents.

Beautiful means strength, courage, intelligence, kindness, humor, love and faith. Those descriptions form a beautiful image. I tell them they are beautiful; because they are. You are, too. Don’t be afraid of that word. Beauty is found in each of us.

Someday when my girls look in the mirror and question what they see, I hope they remember what I’ve always known. And I pray they take a moment to discover that beauty in others, too. 

Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From Home.com. She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.