I celebrated my birthday on our vacation in Cartagena and took some time to reflect on how much I've grown over the years. I'm fully "adulting" and sometimes it seems as though I turned 13 a week ago! Time flies and as women it's important to practice self-love as we grow.
On this vacation, I took time to revel in my femininity, soaking up all the sun Colombia had to offer which resulted in my familiar (but NYC forgotten) Caribbean glow. I am comfortable in my skin and this may be the point in the post where you'd probably expect me to say I haven't always been comfortable and explain how I overcame my insecurities. That isn't my story and now you might be inclined to say, "Lucky you for not having body issues", but that is far from my point. You might even suspect my teenage (into adult) admiration of Beyonce, J-Lo and Alicia Keys or my background in Women's Studies as factors fueling my confidence but that's simply not the case and I'll tell you why. Those images and teachings reinforced positive attitudes in me at a younger age but it's my Mom who led and still continues to lead by example.
Mom is by far the most glamorous woman I know! As a child I would sit and watch her apply lipstick and blush with her red manicure in anticipation of the day when I would be old enough to do the same. Her style was like no other and when she visited our schools, all the kids would come around to see her. Was it her unique sense of style or the many outfits she designed and wore that attracted them to her? Probably, but I believe her confidence and kind spirit coupled with her style made her attractive. Mom has a presence when she enters and leaves a room.
Mom never bombarded her girls with body talk and never obsessed over her size. If you ask her what size she wears now, she would not have a straight answer because she doesn't know. She also prefers to have her clothes sewn so that could be another reason behind her ambiguous answer that makes it very difficult to shop for her. Mom made us feel beautiful through her confidence and taught us how to enhance our beauty through intelligence and express ourselves through style. She will tell you when something is unflattering but will always provide a fix (usually a belt, necklace and some lipstick) that will take your outfit from granny to chic in a second. No matter what image I saw in the media about body perfection, mom is my point of reference and she taught me how to embrace my femininity. For that, I am eternally grateful. Thanks Mom, I love you!
I encourage you to show other women and girls what self-love means through your actions and words. Take care of your body, mind and spirt. Eat ice-cream, travel, dance like Beyonce, read books, drink your damn green smoothie, slather your body with coconut oil, thread dem brows, wear heels, wear flats, breathe deeply, pray earnestly, love unconditionally, learn endlessly and follow your passions. Embrace all the things that make up your femininity!
I shared my outfit posts from Cartagena yesterday and I'm sharing my poolside looks today. I'll link to the exact items or similar ones for you gals. Enjoy and Happy Friday!