Be your own beautiful.

I dread the day when my daughters realize negative body image is a thing. I worry they’ll adopt the perception that skinny and flawless is the ideal and start picking apart the things in themselves that don’t match up to that.

Oh, I have my own insecurities. I wish there was fullness where there is flatness. Smoothness where there…isn’t. But at the same time, I have carried, birthed and nursed three babies. And I try to take care of my body: To eat well and exercise without going to extremes. There is no reason for me (or anyone) to beat themselves up.

Make healthy changes where you need to, yes. But know that when you’re trying, it’s enough. You are enough. You are your own beautiful. Let’s choose to focus on what our bodies can do. What they are, instead of what they aren’t.

I’ve worried about sharing this message because being overweight is not my struggle.

I have friends and family members who do struggle with being that, and I can only imagine the heartache and frustration that comes with that battle.

But sadly, body image issues are not limited to overweight people. Think of the millions of thin women who struggle with eating disorders.

Whether you’re at a healthy weight or not, we humans (and especially females, it seems), are too good at finding something to criticize.

I think it’s important for women to realize that happiness and self-love doesn’t lie within a certain number on the scale. Body images are physical, obviously, but they are even more a matter of the mind and the internal struggles we face.

So this is my small way of encouraging women (whether they’re a size 20 or a size 0), to be a little kinder to their bodies.

As part of my Be Your Own Beautiful campaign this summer, I’m challenging you (yep, you!) to post a photo of yourself in a swimsuit on Instagram. Share your thoughts on body image + use the tags #beyourownbeautiful + #redefineswimsuitready.

You’ll be entered to win $50 to Kortni Jeane and five of you will win 5×7 “Be Your Own Beautiful” prints from Whitton and White. More importantly, we’ll build each other up this swimsuit season. Tag your friends to join the challenge! Post by 7/11 to be entered into the giveaway.

Click here to see the Redefine Swimsuit Ready campaign I did last year.

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