How many women do you know who are absolutely in love with their body?

<Cue crickets and sarcastic cackles>

Now, how many women do you know who complain about their body? Hide behind clothes? Wish they could add or remove certain body parts? Maybe even hate their body?

The list is long, eh?

Having finally reached the point of loving my body, I can now see that my previous perspective led me towards unhealthy relationships, bad decisions, and an overall low quality of life.

It’s one thing to go through that yourself. But it’s a whole ‘nother level of pain when it comes to your daughter. So how do you raise a girl who celebrates her body?


Heal yourself. Love your own body. Talk to her about it. Often.

That has been my plan of action.

Healing My Past

For most of my life, I didn’t love my body. It was my dark secret, at times, unknown even to myself.

Some contributing factors to my negative body image:

1) My self-conscious tendencies – I remember being 4 years old, in a one-piece bathing suit, refusing to come out of the beach hut and “expose my body”. Ya, it started that early.

) Growing up in the East –  although my family was westernized, I never saw a woman walking the streets with her calves showing and often, not even her eyes.

3) Religion – I’ll leave it at that…

4) Experiencing and witnessing sexual abuse…both instances, before the age of 8.  My whole family was affected. Needless to say, those events left a mark.

As you can imagine, it’s tough to celebrate your body under those conditions. 

The Day That Changed Everything

It was the day I found out I was having a girl.

The thought of my little one growing up in such a sad state of confusion about her own body, the way I did, was …just what I needed!

I began a very deliberate journey towards healing my past. I knew I had to give my story a happy ending so that my daughter would have a fair chance at a healthy beginning.

Your past is different from mine. But whatever your story, you need to recognize it’s hold over your body and do what it takes to heal.

Loving My Body

I nourish my body with the right nutrition. I sweat regularly to keep fit. I don’t entertain nasty self-talk. I wear clothes that make me feel good. I limit the make-up. I don’t fry my skin in the hot sun anymore. …etc. etc.
In short, I take care of my body so that it takes care of me.

Your daughter needs you to show her what loving your own body looks like.

Starting The Conversation

The toughest part of my past was the silence and all the unanswered questions.

But having a little girl motivated me to find my voice, seek help, and share my story. I have come a long way in the last four years. And thankfully, I’ve arrived at this point just in time to answer all the uncensored questions that my little girl is already starting to have.

If you’re looking for ways to open the communication between you and your daughter, I have just what you need: Beautiful Girl, a children’s book written by Dr. Christiane Northrup.

Beautiful Girl by Dr. NorthrupWith empowering words and captivating illustrations, the book portrays the female body as an enchanting gift, one that thrives with gentle care and gratitude. The timeless message was simple enough for my toddler to understand and at the same time, served as a reminder for myself.

In fact, the first time I cracked it open was on a day when I needed a bit of lift. The words and the illustrations, instantly injected appreciation for every experience my body has carried me through, the good and the bad.

Tiana fell in love with the pictures. Her imagination carried her far. By the end of the book, the little angel was stroking my face to demonstrate what gentle love looks like. She’s on the right track. 🙂

I think this book would be a great addition to your daughter’s collection. So, I’m giving you a chance to win a copy of Beautiful Girl .

Enter to win:

Update: A winner has been selected! Thank you for all who entered. If you’d like to purchase the book, click here.

1. Subscribe to my blog for more heart-opening posts (if you’re already a subscriber, you can skip this step);
2. Leave a comment below telling me one thing you do, or can start doing, to respect your beautiful body.
For a bonus entry, tweet this: “I’d love to win Beautiful Girl, a children’s book by @DrChrisNorthrup via @natnanton”

On Friday, April 26, 2013, at 4 p.m. the winner will be notified via email and announced on my Facebook page.

Please note: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review and giveaway. The opinion in this review is my own. Also, links to purchase Beautiful Girl are my affiliate links.

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23 Responses to A Positive Body Image Starts With Mom

  1. Sandy says:

    Love this book and I would love that book for my daughter! I try and eat well (for the most part!) to keep my body healthy – we only have one so we need to respect it! My little girl is already on the path to healthy eating and I hope to keep encouraging her to look after herself from the inside out.

  2. Jessica says:

    Nat, you continue to amaze and inspire me! Some things I do to love and respect my body are to eat as balanced a diet as possible and never weigh myself. I want to feel good without a scale telling me whether I “should” feel good or not. Before I got pregnant the first time (and they made me weigh in at the dr.’s), I hadn’t weighed myself in years. It shouldn’t be about the numbers, it should be about how you feel from the inside out.

    • Nat Nanton says:

      JESSICA! I love that tip so so much!! You’re so right about the silly weighing scale. I haven’t owned a weighing scale in years. This tip is actually in my blog post drafts. 😀 Thanks for sharing that. I didn’t think I’d hear that one in the comments. Yay!

  3. Bee says:

    Breastfeeding made me feel better about my er… Size. My attitude changed when i realized despite my size, imstill able to nourish my baby. And now i really dont care that im not round like im “supposed” to be.

  4. Melissa says:

    Thanks for sharing such a personal part of you, Nat! You’re daughter will truly benefit from having such a strong, secure Mama! Bravo!

  5. Lisa C says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, Nat. Though I don’t have a daughter (not sure yet about the one on the way) I still think it’s important for my son not to hear me complaining about my body or see that negative self-image as normal for women. I want him to grow up with a mama who isn’t ashamed of her normal, healthy body, even though it’s far from the popular ideal. Walking & biking a lot, trying to eat well but NEVER doing any crazy diets is part of that for me. 🙂

  6. Harriet says:

    For me it’s all about getting OLD. I have to try not to self-loath about being an old bag in front of my son.

    Sidenote: When I first met you at the Top 30 event, I thought you were the most sparkling & beautiful woman I’d ever seen.

  7. Asna says:

    loved this post!

    one area I really need to improve on is exercising! I’m not concerned about the number on the scale or the size of my jeans, but I really really want to stress to my daughter the importance of staying healthy, active, and being good to her body…the only way I can do that is to be an example myself. I just signed up for a 5 km steps!

  8. Jen says:

    Natalia Nanton, your posts always amaze me. Thank you for being so wonderfully YOU! I feel the exact same way – I’m very conscious of what I say / focus on in terms of my body, and myself in general, now that I have a little person around me soaking the world in. For me, respecting my body involves eating natural, whole foods and getting outside as much as possible to stay healthy.

  9. Jennifer KG says:

    I’m very aware of not passing on my own self image issues onto my daughter. Right now coming to terms with issues that impact the end of my own fertility are what I’m working on right now- hard to find a positive but dig deep enough and with thoughtful resolve there are positives.

  10. Hmmm…loving my body…oh gosh. What a topic for me. I guess today the best way for me to love my body is to eat the foods that fuel and heal it. And honestly, I should get out and buy some clothes that fit me in my size now rather than sigh over the clothes that no longer fit. Hope I win this book for my l’il girl <3

  11. Thank you for sharing your story. Everyone has one. I would love to share that book with my girls as both a mother and a teacher. It’s so important to teach kids to take care of their bodies and feel good about themselves.

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