Mothers and Daughters: How to Improve Your Relationship and Find Yourself

Step 2: Talk to Your Mother about Self-Image and Beauty

Rewriting your mother's job description

The first subject of this workshop is self-image and beauty. Most women I've talked with over the years said their mothers do not discuss their most intimate feelings about their body image with them. The conversation is kept at a superficial level directed toward the daughter: "You look nice today," That's a nice outfit on you," or, "Where did you get those earrings?" But these comments are often filled with lots of unspoken gestures and innuendos. I'm not saying not to talk about superficial things. Talking about clothes and makeup is a fun part of being a woman. What I am saying is to go deeper. Your mother's job description hasn't included the right to reveal to you how she feels about her body, good or bad, or for that matter, how she generally feels about herself. Her task of guiding you toward womanhood has been more about telling you what to do and how to look. Those rules need to be changed as we grow into women. If your mother isn't able to recognize and shift this energy, then you, as her daughter, can help her do so.

What you like about being a woman

Before you talk with your mom, it's a good idea to review your beliefs about your self-image, your mother's image and the influence she's had on your personal style. Personal appearance is a sensitive topic. You want to be clear about how you feel so that you can articulate your thoughts clearly and calmly to her. You also want to know what you want from her after you tell her your memories and feelings. Do you want an apology, a hug or simply that she knows you appreciate her support? Or are you trying to tell her that it was hard for you to smile when you looked in the mirror after she told you how fat you were?

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