What is Beauty? Part IV

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Now it's my turn to weigh in. This is the final post in the 4-part What is Beauty? series hosted by Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Advanced Anti-Aging Body Wash. As the mother of two girls, I often wonder how body image and beauty will be discussed in our family. Right now, the girls are obessesed with princesses. I try to talk up the brainy aspect of the Disney dames. And I've already heard my 5 y.o. tell me she "doesn't feel pretty." It's up to me to be a role model and show my girls that beauty is much more complex that a ballgown and perfect hair.

When do you feel best about your body?

Any time I finish a tough workout. I completed my first triathlon this summer and was so stoked about racing for 18 miles. I'll be doing more races for sure--the feeling is addictive.

Are you judgmental when it comes to your body?

I'm much more forgiving now that I'm a mom. Giving birth to my daughter's made me have a new appreciation for my body. I was blessed to be able to breastfeed them both--how amazing is that! To nourishing your child is the ultimate proof that your body is powerful. But to be completely honest, the saggy boobs get to me. Motherhood and miles of running over the years have taken their toll.

Do you use a scale?

Nope. Gave that up when I was in my 20s. I do step on them occasionally at the Pilates studio, but the numbers don't mean much. Energy levels matter, as do the way my clothes look.

What makes you feel beautiful?

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Dancing with my daughters, holding hands with my husband, and any time in the yoga studio.

Have you ever felt insecure about your body?

In school I was always one of the youngest in my class. To make matters worse, I was a "late bloomer" the 'tween years were tough. My classmates had curves and crushes and I was emotionally and physically left behind. At my catholic school, not many of the other girls were into sports. It was rough finding my place. Starting a new school my freshman year helped give me a fresh start and gave me the chance to find girlfriends that boosted my image.

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

Play sports. Team sports (lacrosse and soccer)gave me the chance to feel strong, physical and driven. Instead of snarking and gossiping with other tweens and teen girls, we had practices and games and a quest to win. I will do my best to get my girls involved in sports or other physical activities at a young age so they see their bodies as tools or instruments of power. I never, ever want them to feel weak.

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

I've never felt more comfortable in my own skin than right now. 39 approaching 40. I see fine lines and and gray hairs, but they've come from living life fully. I wouldn't trade perkier boobs for motherhood (thank you very much 18 combined months of breastfeeding).

What do you think about how the media depicts the female body?
I think we can find inspiration if we look hard enough. Attending the Olympics this year was incredibly inspiring. In my view these are the bodies to be celebrated--muscular, strong and capable. And obtained by hard work and dedication--not plastic surgery and crazy diets. I'm also keen on moms serving as watchdogs for the next generation. When brands and media outlets show inappropriate images, it's up to us to make our voices heard with our wallets and our blogs.

A big thank you to Valerie Rowekamp, Lindsay Ferrier and Danielle Smith for sharing their words and wisdom on body image, motherhood and more.

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 and all the views and advice are those of the editor.

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