Brittney Johnson spent the day shopping at the mall with her four-year-old daughter, Payton. In a recent Facebook post, the mom describes how the duo ended up in Target, where Brittney picked out a few swimsuits to try on.
She took snaps of herself modelling the bikinis and sent them to her friends for their opinions—including this photo she captured of her daughter, which has since received well over 150,000 shares.
“See that sweet baby girl in the corner? With half a dress on and one of the bikini tops I had picked out?” The mom captioned with the photo. “I stopped for a second to see what she would say and when she turned to the mirror, she said, “Wow I just love cheetah print! I think I look beautiful! Do you think I look beautiful too?!”
At that moment, it was clear to Brittany just how influential she was to her daughter — as Payton only repeats what she sees and hears.
“I tell her that she is beautiful every single day. She is kind walking through the mall, because I tell her she is kind everywhere else. She is polite at the order counter because she hears me when I’m polite to strangers everywhere. She gives compliments to people she doesn’t know because she loves how it feels when she hears them,” wrote the proud mom.
“And when we are in a dressing room, with swimsuits of all God forsaken things, there is a split moment when I have the power to say ‘wow I have really gotten fat this year’ OR ‘wow I love this coral color on me!’ And those are the words burned into my daughter’s brain.’ ”
Brittany reminds us that when it comes to manners, kindness, and body image, mother’s should set an example.
“I am not a size zero. I never will be. I have big thighs and a huge rump and for some reason the middle of my body gets more tan than the rest,” she continued, noting that she is strong, able and happy.
“I don’t have to be beautiful like you, because I am beautiful like me. And as my daughter gets older, and she faces judgement and criticism, I will always remind her that the girls who look the prettiest in a two piece, or a body suit, or a freaking Snuggie, are the ones who are happy. Because that’s ALL that matters. And I want her to look at herself every single day and say “Oh wow! I think I look beautiful!” because EVERY girl deserves to feel that.”
Brittany’s post serves as a poignant reminder that mothers can have a huge impact on their daughters’ self image, which is why positive reinforcement is so important.