Jenna Bush Hager wants her daughters to grow up confident.
In an open letter posted on the “TODAY” website, the mother of two shared an open letter about positive body image with her girls, Poppy and Mila.
“When I’m on the road, traveling away from you, I compulsively scroll through photos of you on my phone. I look at your eyes bright, your smiles wide, your skin pure. I have never seen anything more beautiful than the two of you,” she wrote. “It is the way you look — your blue eyes (that I longed for as a girl) and your golden hair — but more than that, it is YOU! I see all of you: your kindness, your exuberance, your creativity and, yes, your rambunctious humor.”
She warned her girls not to be fooled into thinking they are less than by the public, writing, “But, my darling girls, that purity and light I see in your eyes could one day be shattered by our world. You will see images on TV and in movies and magazines to which you will inevitably compare yourself. And you will feel that you come up short. I know that I did.”
Bush Hager opened up about feeling uncomfortable in her own skin during her awkward teenage years because she had braces and towered over her friends.
“My hearts, you, too, will look in the mirror and not always like what you see. You might not feel skinny enough or pretty enough. But if Daddy and I do our jobs, you will look in the mirror and always like who you see. And that, my babes, is far more important,” she wrote. She went on to share the advice her parents George W. and Laura Bush (a.k.a Jefe and Grammee) shared with her as a child.
“My parents — your Jefe and Grammee — told me that I was smart and kind and pretty. They told me that I was enough. They told me that I was enough. I didn’t always believe them when they said I was beautiful. But, my darlings, I was lucky because even though your grandparents encouraged me to like what I see, they emphasized that I should like how I think, how I care and how I make those around me feel,” she wrote. “They taught me that who I am is more important than how I look. And that if I radiate love, kindness and empathy, I can bring some light to this dark world (and isn’t that better than being a size zero?).”
Bush Hager finished the letter with words of encouragement as her daughters grow.
“So, my precious babes, always, always know that just by being authentically you, you are more than enough. And my hope is that one day, when you stand judging yourself in front of a mirror, you can see yourself the way I that I see you,” she finished.