One mum’s heartwarming message has gone viral, after she explained how she was inspiring her daughter to think of herself as ‘beautiful’ all the time.
Missouri-based mum Brittney Johnson shared the story of a poignant moment with her little girl on Facebook, and so far it’s received nearly 150,000 shares and over 15,000 comments.
Describing a fun day out at the shops with Payton, Brittney explains how proud she was that her little girl was polite to a barista, complimented strangers and even gave left over tokens from a carousel ride to another little girl in the queue.
‘She made conversation with the guy at Starbucks even after I tried convincing her it is not called Starburst and they do not have candy,’ explained Brittney. ‘We had dinner where she told the lady “please” and “thank you” and “I just love your hair!”. She high fived the attendant on her way off of the carousel and gave her two extra tokens to a little girl waiting on the side. We walked into Target and she helped me pick out a few swimsuits.’
Britanny then realised how much her own attitude reflected in that of her daughter, and went on to tell her social media followers how much that meant to her.
‘And then I snapped this one. See that sweet baby girl in the corner? With half a dress on and one of the bikini tops I had picked out?’ she wrote alongside a picture of the pair trying on their bikinis.
‘I stopped for a second to see what she would say and when she turned to the mirror, she said “Wow I just love cheetah print! I think I look beautiful! Do you think I look beautiful too?!”..when it hit me that she only says what she hears. What she sees. I tell her that she is beautiful every single day.’
‘She is kind walking through the mall, because I tell her she is kind everywhere else. She is polite at the order counter because she hears me when I’m polite to strangers everywhere. She gives compliments to people she doesn’t know because she loves how it feels when she hears them.. And when we are in a dressing room, with swimsuits of all God forsaken things, there is a split moment when I have the power to say “wow I have really gotten fat this year” OR “wow I love this coral color on me!” And those are the words burned into my daughters brain.’
She concludes: ‘When it comes to manners, be an example. When it comes to kindness, be an example. And when it comes to body image, be an example.’
‘I want her to look at herself every single day and say “Oh wow! I think I look beautiful!” because EVERY girl deserves to feel that.’
Brittney Johnson added a new photo – with Becky Mann Johnson.
The internet has erupted into raucous applause for Brittney and Payton, with many mums saying they hope to be able to raise their daughters the same way.
‘Wow, this story is amazing. It’s so true… what we say, do, speak… is a reflection of who our children will be. You’re beautiful inside and out. Own it, love yourself, and rock the hell out of that swimsuit because it looks amazing on you! Raise that girl up right and she will thank you for it later!’
Another added: ‘I loved reading your story. As mom’s, we have the weight of the world on our shoulders. Let’s make it a better one by teaching our kids all the things you just described. You’re doing a great job. Keep up the awesome work.’
Brittney herself has been moved by the response, and has stressed the importance of supporting other mums.
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‘It has been such a great reminder that we are all on the same team, have the same fears and ultimately want the same thing for our children ― love,’ she told Huffpost US.
‘I hope people can read my post and then look at themselves and say, ‘Here I am, and I am beautiful just the way I am.’ I hope people take away from it that our kids should know self-love and will only learn it if we take the time to teach it to them.’