Last night I was getting ready to go out with friends — it was the end of a really long weekend filled with friends and family and fun. I was in the bathroom putting on my face and fretting over a necklace choice.
"Mama?" said my youngest daughter, who is newly nine. "Don't spend too much time picking a necklace or makeup. You are so beautiful even when you just wear your jammies and no makeup at all."
My kids are the reason I have a better self-image, and better self-esteem. They help me see the things that I don't. They help me forget the things that I do see.
Dove will be hosting a series of free self-esteem workshops in October across Canada, hosted by some of our YMC bloggers and #YMCCommunity Bloggers. They want to start a dialogue between mothers and daughters about self-esteem, and beauty pressures.
Daughters, we hope, will leave feeling valued and that they have new skills and knowledge to help them embrace their own unique beauty and feel more confident to face day-to-day challenges. Mentors, we hope, will leave feeling motivated to make efforts to foster self-esteem in their girls; they will also feel confident that they have new tools and resources to use.
We need to change the numbers because right now over 60% of girls avoid certain activities because they feel bad about their looks. 19% won’t try out for a team or club, 13% won’t give an opinion, and 15% won’t go to school.
We need to talk to our girls.
And our girls need to talk to us.
You see these lines around my mouth, you guys? The ones that don't go away when I stop smiling? Sure, some might call them wrinkles, but did you know that they are also called laugh lines? So, I have ones that don't go away — this means that I laugh more than most. Because I have children who are beyond hilarious.
You see the forehead lines? The ones I sometimes cover with bangs? Those are from the times I worry about you. This one at the top? I got that one when you guys switched schools three years ago. And this one at the very bottom? That's leftover from your first summer at overnight camp. And that one was from watching you audition, and this one is from watching your playoff baseball game and this one is from that day you tried that twisty skating turn.
Do you see this thing some people call crow's feet? Lots of companies make creams to fix crow's feet. You know why I have crow's feet? Because I taught three children — successfully — to ride two-wheelers.
The un-taut skin around my belly? That's from growing and carrying three infants to full term (two beyond full term — one even ten days past due).
These are badges of honor.
They are marks of a life well lived, well laughed, well documented, well remembered.
My children are the reason for this.
And they are the ones that help me see it when I sometimes forget.
We need to talk to our girls.
And our girls need to talk to us.
Visit our 'self-esteem resource page' for helpful info on how to talk with your daughter about real beauty and self-esteem.
We need you to be a part of the Dove mission to improve the self-esteem of over 15 million girls by 2015.
I work from home. As with most job situations, it comes with both goods and not-so-goods. The goods include — but are not limited to — being home and completely available for my kids, being able to eat cold Chinese food from the container standing over my kitchen counter, and not having to get dressed. The not-so-goods include — but are not limited to — being home and completely available for my kids, being gross and eating cold leftovers instead of a proper lunch, and not getting dressed.
Because I work from home and am available for my kids, mornings are my domain. I make three lunches, I make sure three breakfasts are eaten, three sets of teeth are brushed, three backpacks are filled with three sets of homework, I make sure no one's belly is showing and no one is wearing leggings as pants, and I make sure three kids get out of the door on time for school. If you are doing the math at home, this leaves very little time for extravagent hairstyle and updos.
No. I'm a battle-picker parent, and I fight the battle of the hair like this: You can't look like a hobo (i.e., your hair must be brushed) and it needs to be off of your face (this serves two purposes — my girls don't have to worry about their hair while they should be worrying about studying, and lice prevention). My girls love fun and different braid styles and they watch a lot of YouTube.
Luckily, with some products like Goody Ouchless hair elastics and bobby pins, I — I mean they — can have an adorable style finished in less then five minutes.
Yes, less than five minutes.
These are some of the fan favourites at our house. As you can see, my daughter Emily is somewhat of an expert.
Tip: Bobby pins are your best friends when it comes to braiding!
This braid is similar to The Milkmaid, but you pull the braids near the nape of the neck, just under ear-level.
This one not only looks impressively complicated (it's not!), but it's also great for kids (and adults!) who are growing out their bangs.
Whichever braid you choose, I hope these ideas will help make your back-to-school mornings go more smoothly—and more stylishly!
Family life sure has changed since the Leave It To Beaver days. The days where Dad kissed his family on his way to the office while Mom stayed at home, cleaned, helped the children with homework, and had a full home-cooked meal ready for when Dad walked through the door (and probably a pipe and a paper in the drawing room before bed!). I bet you Ward Cleaver never once changed The Beaver's diapers.
Nowadays, though, there are all kinds of families. There are families of single parents, two moms, two dads, parents who both work at the office, parents who both work from home, dads who work at the office while mom stays home, and families where mom works at the office and dad stays home.
One thing is true about all these unique dads, of course: DADS DO A LOT and most certainly deserve to be celebrated and pampered. YMC and Philips are well aware of this and we were over-the-moon excited to celebrate dad with a day at the spa. (Spas aren't just for the ladies, ladies!)
We received so many amazing entries to our "Win a Makeover For The Man In Your Life Contest" because so many ladies wanted to win a great prize for the special men in their lives. There was only one winner, though. Haifa Staiti’s entry was the one that took home the prize.
Haifa's stay-at-home husband Ben is a low-key kind of guy. A self-proclaimed jeans and t-shirt man, he doesn't have much time for grooming. He spends hours building forts and castles and rough-housing with his 4-year-old and 2-year-old boys. "He gets a hair cut about twice a year," Haifa said, "Ben so deserves this prize—he works very hard and he is the best father and husband ever, but yes, he often looks like he could use a good grooming."
The winning duo spent the morning at Novo Spa in Toronto for a couples massage and facial, and his and her manicures and pedicures, followed by lunch at Tea Lounge.
"The whole day was amazing. But the organic facial was, by far, the highlight of our visit," Haifa told me. "I could not stop smiling as I listened to Ben ask his aesthetician all kinds of questions about his skin and how to take better care of it and the products and techniques she was using. She definitely got a good quizzing!"
Then they were whisked off to Taz Salon so Haifa could have her hair done, but more importantly, so Ben could get his 6 months of hair growth cut and styled and get a perfectly groomed 5 o'clock shadow (Haifa's favourite look on Ben—"it goes so well with his blue eyes and long brown hair") using the Philips SensoTouch 3D, followed by dinner at Trattoria Nervosa.
Dads sure are unique, and each one has his own sense of style.
Yes, even Ward Cleaver.
In addition to helping Ben with his style, Philips wants to help all of the men in your life give their grooming routine an upgrade and look handsome no matter what style they prefer — beard, mustache, goatee, 5 o'clock shadow like Ben, or smooth and clean-shave.
Whether he's in a rush and needs a quick dry shave or he's prepping for an important day out and needs a wet shave, the Philips SensoTouch 3D is a wet and dry electric shaver, that will give him a flawless face every time.
So even if you can't give your man a pampering day at the spa, you can still give him spa-like experience at home.