You are enough
Through my foundation Her Flow, we work closely with young girls and it is troubling how many of them have very warped ideas about beauty.
Most of the girls I have spoken to express that they don't see themselves as beautiful.
When I ask them who they consider beautiful, I hear names like Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, The Kardashian sisters, even our very own Yanique 'Curvy Diva'.
When I press further to find out what they consider beautiful about them, most of the responses point to their bodies and how sexy they are.
Now, everyone's concept of beauty will be different and we all have our own references, but when we have a generation of girls believing that in order for them to be beautiful they have to put themselves through several stages of enhancements, I think that's problematic.
The idea that they are beautiful just as they are was foreign to many of these girls, and they did not believe it when I tell them.
Live the part
As adults, I believe we must take responsibility for the examples that we are setting for the generations that follow us, especially when it comes to defining beauty.
We have to nurture their self-confidence by teaching them that they are enough.
We can start by introducing our girls to movies and books with characters that look like them, that they can relate to.
We should celebrate their natural features and show them that beauty comes from within.
We also have to be cognisant as parents about how we talk about beauty as well.
I have personally heard a mother call their dark-skinned daughter "black like her ugly puppa". Or when combing her daughter's hair, she would express frustration about the thickness and how difficult it is to handle.
These types of comments, though they seem very innocent, can create a complex in children about their looks, making them think that there is something wrong with their natural state of being.
For the record, this is not an attempt to judge adults who chose to surgically enhance their bodies.
I am simply highlighting the fact that children are watching our choices as adults and without guidance, they can be negatively influenced by them.
Instead of making negative comments about the way children look, how about we start celebrating them and teaching them the value of embracing their authenticity?