Nurturing a positive body image is crucial while raising girls—and young mom Brittney Johnson recently made that message go viral. Last week, Johnson took her daughter to Target to do some bathing suit shopping and was totally surprised by what her daughter had to say as the pair tried on bikinis together.
"I put on a suit, and then a second one, and a third one," Johnson said of the experience on Facebook. "I snapped pictures of them to send to my girlfriends and say "yes or no?!" because girls are wired weird and that's just what we do."
"And then I snapped this one," she continued. "See that sweet baby girl in the corner? With half a dress on and one of the bikini tops I had picked out? I stopped for a second to see what she would say and when she turned to the mirror, she said, "Wow, I just love cheetah print! I think I look beautiful! Do you think I look beautiful too?!"
Her daughter's response helped Johnson come to an important realization. "It hit me that she only says what she hears. What she sees," she wrote. "I tell her that she is beautiful every single day."
Johnson shared that the moment helped her understand just how important it is for her to set a good example for her impressionable child. "She is polite at the order counter because she hears me when I'm polite to strangers everywhere. She gives compliments to people she doesn't know because she loves how it feels when she hears them. And when we are in a dressing room, with swimsuits of all God forsaken things, there is a split moment when I have the power to say 'wow I have really gotten fat this year' OR 'wow I love this coral color on me!' And those are the words burned into my daughter's brain." Johnson encouraged other parents to do the same: "When it comes to manners, be an example. When it comes to kindness, be an example. And when it comes to body image, be an example."
Moving forward, Johnson wants her daughter to remember that true beauty is something that comes from within and ultimately what matters most. "I am not a size zero. I never will be... But this body made a whole other body. I am strong. I am able. And I am happy. I don't have to be beautiful like you, because I am beautiful like me."
"I will always remind her that the girls who look the prettiest in a two piece, or a body suit, or a freaking Snuggie, are the ones who are happy," she wrote. "Because that's ALL that matters. And I want her to look at herself every single day and say "Oh wow! I think I look beautiful!" because EVERY girl deserves to feel that."