What’ll it take for me to love my reflection?It got me thinking. A lot. What would I say to my sweet and rowdy niece if she asks a similar questions when she is 12 or 14? Here is what I came up with:
‘Cause everytime I say to myself “You’re beautiful” it feels like a lie…
How do you do it? How can you just totally accept yourself exactly the way you are! What your secret? Will you share it with me?
Your mom and dad think you are beautiful but I know that doesn't mean much because they're supposed to say that, they are your parents. Just so you know, not all parents think their children are beautiful and not all parents tell their children that.
Also, part of the reason that your parents think you are beautiful is because you are. I don't even know what you look like right now (it being 10.5 years until you are 12) but your beauty for them (and for me) doesn't just come from your skin or your hair or your size, whatever they may look like. Beauty comes from the person you are. Are you a good person? Do you care about people? Do you treat people with respect? Do you have fun? Do you make people laugh? These things make you beautiful.
- Jr. high school sucks. Don't let anyone tell you that it's the best time in your life because it isn't.
- Kids can be really mean. I know it and your parents know it and if your teachers don't know it they're lying.
- All kinds of shit is going on with your body and your hormones which makes it really hard to get any kind of a grip on your mood and your feelings.
- Having a boyfriend isn't nearly as important as anyone makes it out to be. You're gonna get kissed. I have no worries about that but if you live your life to get some boy, you're not living life for yourself.
- The beauty industry makes a ton of money off of you feeling bad about the way you look. Don't let them.
- Be bold. Be brave. Try things just because. Get your mom to do something she'd never do. Get your dad to step out of his routine. Make noise, be dramatic, say what you think.
- Earn respect and then expect respect. If you earn it, you have every right to it.
- Focusing on yourself - on what you want in your life - will make you happier than any amount of popularity. If you love soccer and want to play professionally or if you love designing and want to be a designer or if you love writing or science or art or literature, focus on that. It will make you happier than anything else. Also, you'll find other people that love the same things you do and it won't matter to you what they look like and vice versa.
- Read. Read a lot. Read all kinds of things. Ask me for some recommendations.
- Ask questions. A lot of questions. Smart questions, stupid questions, just ask. Don't just accept the answers. Sometimes, the answer is wrong. Also, the more questions you ask, the more you'll realize that kids are sometimes smarter than adults and you'll learn answers to things you didn't even know there were questions for.
- Being cute doesn't last forever, being smart or funny or witty lasts a long time and gets you a lot further in the end. Also, being cute is a lot of work.
- You just need to make it through Jr. High and high school. That's all. Bonus points if you have some fun. The rest of your life starts after that. Get good grades, be an ethical person, find good friends, nothing else really matters.
I love you. I will never stop loving you. If you ask me questions I will always try to find the answers with you and if we can't find the answers together, we'll get someone else to help.