Shopping with a four year old is to much fun. I taught Sophia that her size is 5T and if she likes something she needs to find a 5T. It took her only a few minutes to find two dresses and then Auntie helped her find a coordinating pair of leggings for each dress.
Like all big girls do we tried them on. Seeing her little face light up was magical. What was even more magical is that she twirled and looked in the mirror at herself and said “I am so pretty! This is so pretty on me.” I then realized that from the moment we are born we love our bodies, we have no idea that our body is different than the next one, we love who we are until someone tells us that our body is not perfect or pretty. When that moment happens our self confidence is snatched away from us and we rarely find it again.
In watching my niece twirl I realized that all of us were once that little girl dancing in the mirror and that we loved ourselves. We loved ourselves until someone told us we were to thin, to tall, to fat, to dark, or to light. We had no idea that we were not beautiful until someone said “you are ugly.” Once you lose your zest it’s hard to get it back. My ex husband once told me “you are ugly, you are to fat for me.” With those words my zest left and I had to start over and relearn how to love myself. After I left my exhusband I remember the first time someone told me I was beautiful. It was in the grocery store, I said thank you and started crying as I walked away from him. That was the day my zest came back, it felt good to look at the girl in the mirror and she smiled back.
I never want Sophia to lose herself, I want her to always love every fiber of her being. As she twirled in each dress I said “Sophia you are more than pretty, you are beautiful, you are unique. The dress doesn’t make you pretty, you are what makes that dress beautiful and never forget that.” I want my niece to grow up loving her body and feeling confident in her own skin. Those lessons start now, she is only 4, but my words will one day remind her that she is beautiful and she is unique.”
Sophia has no idea that she taught her Auntie tonight. Her love and self confidence reminded me that I need to twirl in the mirror and say “I am so pretty.”