I remember growing up in my household and seeing a notable difference between my sister and myself. She was the Trigueña and I was the blanquita. We both had curvy figures but I was far curvier and I was okay with it. I’m not sure if it was because my mom was curvy and every other person in my family was as well, but I embraced my curves instead of wishing them away. When I really began to develop a womanly figure, I loved myself even more, and there was so much more of me to love.
While my college friends were fixated on diets I just wanted to eat healthy, NOT to lose weight and be stick thin, but to live a longer and healthier life so I could see my own family flourish. Instead of counting calories, I counted my blessings as I was doing pretty well with my education and I was working in a field that I loved. I remember speaking with a friend one time and she said, “you don’t worry much about your curves and you seem comfortable within your own skin.” My response was, “why wouldn’t I be? Just because there is a little bit more to me, that doesn’t mean that I am less worthy or that someone else is more beautiful than I am!”
This mindset continued on within me into the classroom and I instilled this into my girls in class and my boys as well. More important than almost anything else was for my children in the classroom to know that it was imperative for them to love themselves! I wanted to bestow upon them that same sense of self confidence that I had been walking around with for years. Sure, I shared with them the story of a boy named “Corey” who would touch my backside because he said it was “nice and round” and how I was confident enough and loved myself more than enough to stand up to him and let him know that it was inappropriate and to never do it again.
I share with my son that although he may be a bit different at times, he is here for a reason. He is to love himself the way that he is because no one can love you like you can love you (except, of course, maybe his Mami). I’m hopeful that building this confidence from early on will allow him to realize that he is worthy of anything that may come his way!
I share with my own children and still share with my classroom children, that loving yourself radiates through all that you do. It radiates through the way you let people treat you, and the way that you demand respect from yourself and others. It’s not always about how you look and what you wear, but it’s all in the way you carry yourself. You have to love yourself enough to know whether you’re 260 pounds or 160 pounds, you are worth the utmost respect because you deserve it. I remind my own children as well as my classroom children that no one can love you more than yourself and it all begins with the way you see yourself. Remind yourself that you are intelligent, beautiful and that you are here for a reason everyday of your life and you will find incredibly self love!
No common core standard or test can assist a child with loving him or herself. If I can be the contributor to that self love, in my eyes, I have done my job as an educator! Helping someone realize that a test score, how you look, or any physical feature, really doesn’t define who you are or your self worth. What’s most important is what’s inside and it’s all worth loving. Self love should be at the top of our priority list for not only our children, but also for ourselves!
Show the world how much you #LoveUrself by posting it on your status on Facebook, post a picture on instagram, tweet about it, and write a blog post on why you #LoveUrself . Let’s spread that SELF LOVE and read more about the movement and Randi Klein right here!