My mother taught me to be proud of my appearance, without saying so explicitly. She never went on diets or complained about her looks. As a kid I was teased about my freckles—and I had lots! But I didn't let it bother me. Thanks to my mom, I had enough confidence that I felt beautiful regardless of what other people said. My five-year old daughter is learning that from me now, and even talks about how she can't wait to get freckles, too!
—Isabel Canez, Chandler, AZ
She Taught Me to "Get Real"
My mom was image conscious, but she raised us to be "real" about our appearance. She stressed being natural, letting inner beauty shine through—things that no amount of makeup can do. My mom died two years ago, at 67, and every time I leave the house without having to "put my face on" I think of how special she was.
—Mary Gomolka, Cherry Tree, PA
The Amazing Bag of Compliments
My mother has always made me feel beautiful, both inside and out. It's like she carries around a bag of compliments and shares them (generously!) with others. There is no doubt in my mind that she's responsible for my successes because her compliments gave me confidence. For this, I'm forever grateful to her. And I will surely pass the bag of compliments along to my daughter.
—Robin Solsky, Califon, NJ
She Was a Wallflower, Not Me
My mother was a pretty petite woman who never wore a speck of make-up or clothes that fit. In contrast, my father was flamboyant and charming. To make matters worse, as a bank manager, he was in charge of a dozen impeccably groomed young women. One time, my mother paid him an unexpected visit. Later, she told me he was embarrassed to see her amongst all of them. I felt how hurt she was, and that sense of betrayal made a lasting impression on me.
Today, I'm what you might call a "flamboyant fashionista"—I would never dream of walking out the door without looking fabulous. If my husband shows embarrassment, it will be on his account, not mine.
—Trudy Hastings, Gilford, NH