What is Beauty? Part II

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Last week we kicked off the 4-part What is Beauty? series hosted by Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Advanced Anti-Aging Body Wash with a post fromLindsay Ferrier. This week we've got the talented and opinionated Danielle Smith weighing in on body image, beauty and more.

Danielle is the mom of two and runs quite an impressive media empire--she and I both covered the P&G; ThankYouMom Olympics Campaign and we've been friends ever since. She certainly qualifies as a mom that inspires me. When reached out to her to participate in this conversation about motherhood and beauty knew she'd come up with some provocative thoughts.


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When do you feel best about your body? 

When I'm making the conscious choice to take care of myself. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia more than a dozen years ago. If I am not exercising, eating well and getting enough sleep, my body rebels. So, from both an appearance standpoint and a physical perspective, I feel best when I am listening to my body.

Are you judgmental when it comes to your body? 

I would be lying if I said no, no matter how much I wish that were the case. I notice the extra weight, the newly forming smile lines, the extra 'freckles' - nothing makes it past my critical eye. That being said, I believe it is my job to embrace it all. An extra pound means I was likely enjoying an amazing meal with family and friends, those smile lines map the times I have belly laughed, and my freckles are indicative of the time I've spent outside enjoying the sunshine (even with extra sunscreen).

Do you use a scale?

I do. But I try to use it as a guide, not as a tormenter. For close to 20 years I weighed exactly the same. While that is no longer the case, the scale reminds me to embrace me as I am now.

What makes you feel beautiful?

Not a single day goes by that my 4 year old son doesn't say, "Mommy, you are so beautiful." It can happen as I get out of the pool, when I dress up for a meeting....even with or without makeup. I feel strong and beautiful when I see myself through his eyes.

Have you ever felt insecure about your body? 

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Good heavens yes..... It would take too long to list the times, but I find myself increasingly able to accept and love who I am. I think there is something about becoming a mother that took me down this path. I am amazed daily by my body's ability to have created two incredible little beings - and to have the endurance to keep up with them. I think it is crucial that I am an example (especially for my daughter) of a woman who is comfortable in her own skin.

What would you tell a young girl to make her feel more confident about impending puberty? 

I will admit I worry about this....I have a few years before this situation presents itself, but am hoping the wisdom I gather each year guides me. I hope I am able to impart confidence - and to help her understand that every day, every year gets better. I am both stronger and more confident now than I was in my early 30's. And in my 40's (soon) I will be even more so.

Has there been an age when you'??ve felt your most beautiful? 

This is an interesting question - when I see pictures of my 25 year old self - I can see the straight-forward physical beauty - the girl who never worried had to worry about what she ate or what she wore. But I still know the insecurity that plagued her. While my body ages, my mind settles in with a comfort and confidence I didn't possess then. Wisdom, and the ability to embrace 'me' now - THAT feels more beautiful than ever.

What do you think about how the media depicts the female body? 

Honestly, the media isn't the only one to blame here. How many millions of women buy magazines just to learn how a Hollywood star lost her baby weight in 3 weeks? Or how they stay slim? We tend to idolize the thinnest, most beautiful women. We share the responsibility here.....I think the media simply gives us what we ask for.

Danielle Smith is the founder and primary author of ExtraordinaryMommy.com. As a former TV Anchor and Reporter, she shares regular vlogging tips is the host of BlissTV and hosts special Live online shows.

Momtrends' "What is Beauty?" series is sponsored by . makers of Olay Total Effects 7in-1 Advance Anti-Aging Body Wash. Scientists have combined Total Effects anti-aging facial skin care technology with an innovative breakthrough in body cleansing to deliver seven age-fighting benefits for the body. This body wash is meant to improve elasticity, relieves dryness, brightens dull skin, evens skin tone and minimizes the appearance of dry lines. Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Advanced Anti-Aging Body Wash is available now where Olay products are sold. ($5.99 for 8.4 oz. and $7.99 for 15.2 oz).

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Olay is the sponsor of Momtrends Body Beautiful series. They do not control editorial content a
nd all the views and advice are those of the editor.

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