This Lil Piglet

Embracing Beauty as a Spitfire #YMCBeautifulYou

This post is part of the and Dove  #YMCBeautifulYou program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.


Thinking back to my teen years, I remember how tough it was to maneuver my way through the demands of school, peers and hormone fluctuations. Beauty was always something I felt self-conscious about, feeling the need to strive for popularity even though my spitfire personality didn’t always conform. Nearing 40, I have come to the realization as much as life has changed, some things have stayed the same. Hormone fluctuations may plague me as I age but my views on beauty have morphed into a complex answer.




I became a mother at the young age of 21, married at 22 and by the time I was 25 I had my 3rd child. Life went very quickly, children came easily to me where others, like my sister, struggled to conceive, and my marriage was riddled with problems. By the time my 3rd child was 2, I made the difficult decision to become a single working mother of 3 kids under 5 without any financial assistance.

Life wasn’t easy. Life was a series of challenges that tested me and made me who I am today. When I think of beauty now in comparison to when I was a teen, my view has completely changed. Physically, I like to look good; taking care of myself and dolling myself up once in awhile makes me feel good too but beauty to me isn’t about the exterior as much as it is about what makes a person.




As my children grew, I spent every day making the most of teaching them about the meaning of life and how to make the most of it. I took every day things as prompts or opportunities to teach my kids how to be a good person, to realize their value as an individual, to know their thoughts and feelings are important and not to be afraid to try things or stand up for what they believe in even when it’s hard. These are my qualifications for beauty.




Beauty is discussed in our household on physical, mental and emotional levels. I’ve taught my daughters to be individuals in their appearance and to take pride because I believe getting up every day and taking care of yourself helps set your mood for the day. Most of all, I want my girls to believe what makes a person beautiful is who they are as a person, what trials they meet along the way of life and how they choose to deal with those challenges.


I asked my eldest daughter why she thought I was beautiful, here’s what she had to say.


Admittedly, I was a bit nervous about how my daughter would answer that question. After watching the video, I left with a few tears and an overwhelming feeling of pride. I watched this beautiful daughter of mine, 13 years of age, spin a tough life experience into a positive self-discovery experience. As a mother, you worry if you are parenting well enough, wondering if you are completely messing it up or if the lessons you are trying to teach are coming through. This girl, this daughter of mine, will turn out just fine. This girl of mine has a glimmer of that spitfire personality I have learned to love most about myself and after seeing this video, is confirmation that is part of what makes me beautiful.

Obviously like most mothers nearing 40, my youthful looks just aren’t so youthful anymore but these wrinkles you’ll find across my brow, crows-feet in the corners of my eyes and creases around my mouth are just a sign of all my life accomplishments; I consider that aging gracefully. Living life to the fullest, realizing the beauty around me and letting that spitfire personality flourish, that trait I once thought was a hindrance, is simply what makes me beautiful.




Did you know YMC is hosting 25 free Dove Mom and Daughter Self-Esteem Workshops across Canada? Join us to start the conversation with your daughter about the real meaning of beauty.

Then visit the ‘How To Find Your Own Unique Beauty’ page for inspirational stories and resources to help young girls learn about true beauty.

We need you to be a part of the Dove mission to improve the self-esteem of over 15 million girls by 2015.


This post is part of the and Dove #YMCBeautifulYou program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors. 

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