From helping me find flattering jeans for my hourglass plus-sized figure (yes, really) to reminding me that even though I'm a mom, I'm still a young woman, my mother influences the way I feel about my appearance very positively. My body and my life may keep changing, but she makes it easy for me to remain confident.
—Heather Hummert, Gildford, MT
A Little Bit of Color Goes a Long Way
Shortly after the birth of my second daughter, my mother told me I looked pale and needed lipstick to add a little color to my face. That was 25 years ago, and to this day I almost never leave the house without putting some on. It may seem like such a small thing, but it brightens up my face and mood. One simple solution from my mother instantly helped me look—and feel—better.
—Janine French, Valparaiso, IN
The Genetics of Self-Consciousness
My mother always felt as though others judged her based on the way she looks. So I grew up being self-conscious too. To this day I can't just put on a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans and run out the door.
—Debby Stark, Cyrus, MN
In private, my mother gave me a critical look and said things like, "What will people think? Look how fat you are!" But if I wasn't eating dinner one night, she'd say, "Don't you like my cooking? I made this for you." These mixed signals confused me and made me feel more insecure about my actions. I think I've finally found the answer though—I'm ridding myself of everything I heard my mother say in the past. I'm creating a new way to think of myself in my own head!
—Pamela Bruso, Kankakee, IL
PS: Don't Tell Mom
I love my mother dearly, but she spent a lot of time teaching me how to look and act "perfect" so that she wouldn't be judged as an unfit mother. As a result, I care nothing for fashion and avoid makeup like the plague. By the way, if you post my response, please change my name. She would kill me if she knew I wrote this!
—Anonymous, Bantam, CT
How did your mother shape your view of your appearance? Share your own story in the comments section below.