This post is sponsored by Unilever but, as always, our thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. Enjoy!
Both of us are Moms to daughters – we’ve been in for a wild ride since the days they were born. Our girls are FULL of personality (mostly spunk and sass), smart and silly. They are also so very beautiful and have hearts of gold. Both girls are 6 at the moment and as we watch them get older, we watch them take a little more time in the mirror. They are already fussing with their hair, curious about makeup and worried about what they are wearing. As a society we like to blame this on marketing, shows they are watching on TV…anything other than ourselves. But the truth is, it is our jobs as mothers to teach our children they are beautiful and they are enough, just the way they are. We love that large companies like Dove are supporting more natural, be yourself movements. It’s not just about being more inclusive in their advertising but actually creating campaigns like LoveYourHair.Dove.com to encourage Mothers to create confident daughters by teaching them to love their hair.
Ashley B believes girls are naturally more worried about what others think: My son is completely oblivious to the pressures of looking “cute” as my daughter would say. He’d walk around naked with bedhead all day if he could and he thinks red lipstick should be reserved for Disney villains. But my daughter loves to play with her hair, wears dresses to “look pretty”, wants sparkles on her shoes and sneaks lip gloss in her book bag. We’ve raised them the exact same way, they watch the same shows, read the same books, have the same friends…I truly don’t know how I ended up with a primping princess. I encourage her to do what she wants to do and wear what makes her feel confident. If she wants to sport 4 different patterns at once and wear her hair in unbrushed pigtails then I said “you do you girl”. She gets ready by herself in the mornings and I believe that independence and confidence are beautiful.
I have made it a parental mission to not make a big deal about appearance. Growing up I was very self conscious about my curly, out of control hair. My mom had perfectly straight hair and she will admit that she had no clue what she was doing when it came to mine (as proof of multiple years of bad bangs- thankfully being an 80s child meant everyone around me also had bad bangs). You guys, isn’t my hair here AWESOME?
In grade school Mom let me chemically straighten my hair for the first time creating a monster. From that day forward I had my hair straightened religiously, damaged it beyond belief with heat and never went outside in the rain. But that all changed when my daughter was born. First of all, I didn’t have time to spend hours on my hair anymore. But more importantly, I knew that I needed to embrace the curls if she was going to have them too. We were in this together -I want her to love her hair and not spend hours of her life in front of a mirror trying to change that about herself. And her growing up to love her hair meant that I, at the very least, needed to tolerate mine.
And by “tolerating” mine over the last 6 years I have learned that hair is just hair. In fact, last spring I donated 8 inches of my hair making sure that my kids made the first cuts. I want them to know that hair (or anything to do with appearance) doesn’t define you, but the gifts you give to the world and the way you treat others will.
Ashley W.: I must start with this; I LOVE having a daughter! I am a girly-girl through and through. And for so many reasons, I am grateful my daughter is too! Here is a picture of my daughter and I on our first day of Kindergarten. Notice her long, gorgeous locks vs the cute 80’s bob my mom had enrolled me in. (And YES!!! My mother saved my Kindergarten school picture outfit and I most definitely DID dress my daughter in the same outfit on her kindergarten picture day!)
I was born with this this crazy thick hair that became less manageable and more wavy as I have gotten older. It often ends up in a high bun for lack of time and patience although my daughter adores when I wear it down.
To be completely honest, I also encourage her to wear her hair back because it is much easier to brush before bed. Although she LOVES to wear to wear her hair down.
We have our crying matches often. She gets upset with me because I brush a tangle. I get upset with her for being over sensitive. Writing this all out, I realize I need to respect and accept her wishes for how she wants her hair.
Don’t we all?? We all need to to accept ourselves for who we are. Not fight against what is easy or who we think we should be or how we should look. Lets work together to promote loving ourselves the way we were intended to be. Hop on to LoveYourHair.Dove.com and share your unique, gorgeous self with #LoveYourHair. We can’t wait to see your photos!