Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why I Made the "You Are Beautiful" Mirror

Despite the bazillion blog and website outages on Monday, some of you were able to see the "You Are Beautiful" Stenciled Mirror I made for my girls using some pretty awesome supplies from Martha Stewart Crafts (would love for you to check it out!). It was actually quite a bit different from what I had originally planned to do, but I bet I'm not the only one whose projects turn out differently than what I pictured in my head. I hope you'll forgive my rambling today, but with the project fresh on the blog, I wanted to share my heart.

Why did I use that particular wording for the mirror?

In short, I feel like it's something every woman and girl needs to hear regularly: that we are beautiful, inside and out!

I grew up in a wonderfully loving family. I knew without a single question or doubt that my parents loved me, even if I punched my sister in the nose (true story) or forced my brother to take "manners lessons" with me in the living room (sadly, also true). 

But I honestly don't recall receiving a lot of verbal encouragement or affirmation. Tons of hugs and kisses, yes. But I don't remember hearing "you look so pretty today" or anything like that. I'm certain they must have said it every so often, but I struggled a lot with my looks growing up. From the elementary and middle school years I spent as a shy, chubby the high school and college years I spent starving myself down to a bony obsessive person, worried over the calories I might consume in a rice cake.

Does hearing "hey, you're a cute girl" make or break your self-esteem?

No, it does not. But I feel like most women I know benefit from a compliment and encouragement, and we do care about how we look. (Or else the fashion industry would be irrelevant). Hearing "wow, you like nice today" can instantly lift my mood. There's a big difference between focusing solely on beauty pageant looks and instilling confidence upon your daughter, teaching them that they should be beautiful inside too. 

My oldest, Natalie, started first grade this year at a new school. She came home the first afternoon and said that a little boy in her class told her she looks like a boy. She didn't cry about it, but she did say that she wanted to wear a mask to school the next day.

My immediate reaction was that I wanted to go to the school and throttle the little cretin, but I kept my voice and face as neutral as possible. I know she's a really pretty little girl; why would that little %&^$$ tell her otherwise?! My husband (rightly) told her that boys are silly and he probably has a crush on her. She hasn't said any more about the incident, but it weighed on my heart.

If I, as a mom, don't consistently affirm my daughters, then who will? The world is out there, waiting to crush their spirits and keep them down. I do my absolute best to make sure my girls know that I think they are smart, kind, special, and, yes, beautiful. Call me crazy, but I don't believe that God makes junk. We're all special in our own ways!

My original inspiration for the mirror was a piece from Blessings Unlimited:

It says, "This is the face of someone Jesus loves"; and it has Jeremiah 31:3 etched onto the bottom.

I wanted to capture the idea of the piece without copying it, and I also knew I probably shouldn't include the Bible verse since it was a sponsored post. (Religious, political, etc. sentiments are really frowned upon for most sponsored posts, unless the sponsor requests otherwise)

So I chose to go simply with "You Are Beautiful." 

The mirror is cute and fun, yes. But as my children grow, I'm learning the power that words have, and how far a kindly spoken phrase can take you. If they should hear "you're stupid" or "you're ugly", I want them to know with complete clarity what utter nonsense those words are. Because I made sure they already know how special they are.

How do you instill confidence in your kids ?


  1. Thanks for sharing, Amanda. You are so right that girls need to hear they are beautiful and know that we, and most importantly God, sees their beauty. My SIL made a mirror for my daughter when she was just a baby that had Psalms 45:11 The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.

  2. I love the reason you chose that phrase! As a mom of two girls (and someone who grew up with 3 brothers), I can relate to both sides. Some of the things my brothers said made me want to pummel them! Of course, they got their share too from girls being ugly to them in high school (don't tell a teenage boy he should get in the gym, if you know what I mean).
    I think it is a must to reaffirm our children (girls or boys), and agree God doesn't make junk!! I also think we as parents, especially mothers need to be careful what "we" say about ourselves in front of our children. I struggled with this a lot. If I constantly was comparing myself to others, I knew they would too!!!

  3. Great post, Amanda! I know what you mean, words can mean so much to a little kid. What a beautiful idea mirror is to reinforce your encouragement.

  4. This is one craft that I am going to copy! I have 2 girls and these issues are on my mind!
    My daughter wore big bows in her hair everyday for 8 years. Then, she was told that she looks like a baby with those bows. It broke my heart that she stopped wearing them- not because she wanted to but because of what someone else said.
    Thank you for this!
    Kerry at HouseTalkN

  5. This is beautiful!
    You are beautiful!
    Our girls are beautiful!
    I am sharing this on my FB page, okay?
    It was such a blessing to read this. Thank you for writing it!

  6. thanks for sharing this part of your heart!! I was thinking about these thoughts as soon as I saw your mirror post the other day! It's HUGE for girls AND women to be affirmed of their beauty - inside & out! It's amazing that for every 100 compliments we receive, we'll remember the ONE negative comment the most :( I love empowering women to focus on the positive aspects and stop dwelling on the negativity!

  7. Thank you for sharing. I have to tell you, having girls is hard work, I have 3, and it can be heartbreaking when someone hurts your childs feelings. But I try to always tell them how much I love them, how smart they are, and how beautiful they are. My girls are 19, 16 and 6, so I have been through the tween and teen years. And it seems that kids are meaner to other kids at a younger age.


  8. Goodness, isn't it hard to raise girls? I remember my parents giving me a ton of verbal affirmation, but somehow my sister, who I think got the same, just never took it to heart. Ugh, now with 2 girls of my own I'm trying really hard to give them love, affirmation, and celebrate what makes each of them unique.

  9. Excellent post Amanda, very well said! I love having two girls, but sometimes I think people with only boys have an easier time of raising them. It seems boys don't have all the issues to deal with that girls do. I don't remember my brother every thinking he wasn't thin enough or if he had the right hair style. haha Maybe I'm wrong and they deal with all the same insecurities that girls do, but there definitely isn't has much media pressure on them to look just so.

    Growing up my dad and mom were very good with the self-esteem building. I especially credit my dad for always making me feel special and pretty. I think it's the comments from our dads that make a big difference. It made me very self-assured and I never felt pressure to do "more" with a guy so I could feel better about myself or to know he really liked me. I knew I was enough, with or without a guy. I didn't need one to validate me as a person. Sadly I haven't had a relationship with my dad for the last 14 years, but I still love him for making me the confidant woman I am today!

    I can only hope my hubby and I are doing the same for our girls. It sounds like you're already doing a great job with yours! =)

    ~ Catie

    PS - The mirror is super cute!

  10. Good for you, Amanda! I wish more mothers would do this--instill the simple truth in their daughters. Personally, I don't think they need to hear "You're the most gorgeous girl in the whole wide world," or "You're a beautiful princess"--honestly, I shudder to think of my boys' ending up with girls who have been treated like princesses. The simple truth is quite enough, and the truth is that they are beautiful and dearly loved and treasured. Your simple message is just right, and it bears repeating!

    My parents never told me I was beautiful. They believed in complete "honesty," and they couldn't "honestly" say I was beautiful, so they never said it. Coupled with my insecurity from my birthmark, I grew up not only never thinking I was beautiful, but believing I was inferior. I wanted to be beautiful--what girl doesn't want to be beautiful?--but I did not think it could ever be true. So when my boys were small, I would tell them every day that they were wonderful, and I never missed a chance to tell them they were handsome. One of them once said to me, "Of course you think that; you're my mom." Honestly, that made my day! I want them to believe that OF COURSE their mom thinks they're beautiful (which I did not believe about my mom). But I answered, "I know I'm your mom, but I'm also smart, and I know a handsome guy when I see one."

    Thanks for sharing your heart!

  11. Great post, Amanda! Although I have boys, I try to do the same (I tell them often that they are smart, wonderful, sweet, handsome little boys who are very loved). Your girls ARE beautiful and you are doing a great job of making sure that they know that!

    -Erin @ DIY On the Cheap

  12. I wanna punch the little creep, too. But this is a wonderful post because it's so real. Good for you to affirm her from a young age. She is beautiful, inside and out.

  13. Amanda, thanks for sharing your story. I always had self esteem issues and I admit that at times I still do. I have two beautiful granddaughters and I plan to make an "I Am Beautiful" sign of some kind inspired by your mirror. When the project is completed I will share it with you. thanks again for sharing your heart, Kathy

  14. Oh Amanda, I have tears. Thank you for sharing this. My sisters & I have only recently told my mom how much we needed more positive affirmation too when we were younger & she's trying so hard to make up for lost time now. :-) Its seems these older generations see that provision was the main priority, as long as you got hugs, kisses, a roof over your head, clothes to wear & food to eat, you knew how special you were but sadly that wasn't the case. Your girls will grow up knowing how precious & beautiful they are to you & saw saw them for who they really are. You're such a great, caring mom. Hugs to Natalie!

  15. You are so precious, Amanda! I love this project, and I love the story behind it even more. Thanks for sharing your heart with us!

  16. Hearing they "why" behind this piece, makes it even that much better. Truly an inspirational story!

    You might want to consider sharing it in this community:


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