To my sisters:
I am sorry that you do not see what I see when I look at you.
We are surrounded by toothpaste ads that promise to make our relationships better and injections that will confuse class reunions.
I don’t know when we all started to fall to the pressure of what someone else dictates we should be.
We are constantly being bombarded with new definitions of what a female needs to be. We are told through advertisements that no matter how we look, we need to be better. We are encourages to focus on the outside and not what is on the inside. We are told that our hair needs to be shinier, we need to be skinner by taking this new super pill and our teeth need to be so white they make snowflakes jealous.
I love you for what you are without your make-up and injections. You are my friend and the slight gap in your teeth makes you far more beautiful than your capped counterpart. Eyes that are injected to hide lines confuse me. I feel we have laughed every line together and like rings on a tree they tell everyone about us. Laugh lines are showing the world that you love life and yourself—wear them with pride.
Stop running to the store to buy the latest miracle cream; your skin reflects what you put in your body. Eat well; no cream can hide bad nutrition.
On your birthday, have cake, you deserve it. Don’t punish yourself for enjoying it. Eat a little less tomorrow and you will feel better, don’t make an issue out of it. Every birthday candle is worth celebrating. Your body is your own, treat it as a temple as they say, celebrate the curves and all the war wounds you have collected from the playground when you were a child as well as the scar that bore your children.
Breasts sag; they have done their job and lovingly nurtured your babies. Don’t hate them, admire them for what they did, and buy a better bra. Your boobs have earned it.
Wear what you want; the latest fashions do not make you a better person. The best fashion accessory you can wear is a smile, it goes with everything. Please be true to yourself, not to the advertisements that bombard us.
Your arms are meant for holding your children while they are sick with fever, your strong thighs are meant to carry them up the stairs to bed.
See yourself as your children see you. They see you as strong, independent, and beautiful—and you are.
The most beautiful women in the world know this, and you can see the mischievous sparkle in their eyes. It pulls you in. It has nothing to do with what you are wearing, or how white your teeth are.