Feeling Beautiful for Her

Sometimes the ultimate mind, body and soul rejuvenation for me is a new hair cut. So, I booked an appointment and went to get my hair done for the first time in the three weeks since Evvie was born. I was eager for the physiological cleansing that only a new haircut can bring, and so I made the pilgrimage to see our long time hair stylist with my new baby in tow.

I must’ve expressed to him that I was looking for something drastic, because that is what I got and I wasn’t happy about it. I came home in tears, rattling off “too short” and “makes me look fat” to Justin in what I thought was the privacy of our bedroom. My defeat only worsened when Zoe came through our door chiming in that she loved it, loved it and “you look so pretty mommy”. I couldn’t say much through my tears, but I thanked her and told her how good that it made me feel that she felt that way.


I couldn’t be more disappointed that she not only heard me say the “f” word, but that I said it out loud at all.

The actual, physical act of growing and carrying a human being is one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I love it, even with the morning sickness and various other uncomfortable traits and I would do it all again. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a fairly easy time with pregnancy compared to most, and I’m very aware and grateful for how lucky I’ve been in so many ways. I’d like to say that on my fourth time around I’ve learned to be completely patient with my body and it’s lack of urgency to go back to its shape and size pre-pregnancy. It’s a process, all of it, but the feelings of frustration are definitely there especially as the weeks pass and my body barely changes.


These first few months postpartum have been, now four times around, the most insecure and uncomfortable of my adult life. Obviously I don’t like feeling this way emotionally, and keeping those thoughts to myself has been like hoarding a few ugly secrets that I’m terrified will make their way down to my children. Living confidence and teaching it are two very, very different things, but in order to teach it properly, I need to live it. And so my quest continues. This slip up was a warning sign to check myself on the inside before it got to my kids on the outside.


In parallel with the Dove Legacy film, I made a list of the things that I love about myself, and asked Zoe to do the same. For me, it was a challenge I accepted to help bring those thoughts out of my head and onto some paper. Making it real, into a tangible thing that I can embrace and a mental notecard for reference in the future when I’m feeling frustrated and exhausted. For Zoe, I just think it’s a good exercise, something that she’ll remember doing and might even do on her own in the future. Reinforcing the good, while suppressing those feelings that are unproductive and wasteful. While I’m keeping our lists private, I encourage you to do the same in your own ways, and possibly even share some aspect of that under the #FeelBeautifulFor hashtag. In honor of the 5th Annual Dove Self-Esteem Weekend kicking off tomorrow, let’s pass positive feelings of beauty to the girls in our lives, as we often influence more than our immediate family.

Dove research shows that 65% of girls describe the women that they look up to as confident. I want to be in that percentile for my daughters, for now, for the future, for all three of us.

Thank you to Dove for sponsoring this post, and thank you for reading!

Join the Conversation


  • I feel for you Jessica, your hairstylist did a fabulous job on your haircut, it does look fab, but, he made a rookie mistake on when to do a more drastic haircut on a woman, esp one who has just given birth and is still feeling not quite herself with all those crazy wonderful and not so wonderful changes your body has been through.
    Whenever I have a client who is a new mum come in wanting a “New Look” I talk them around to maybe doing the drastic new look next time after we have had a chance to sit down and completely map out a new look because it could mean changes to wardrobe or take more time to style and that might not be feasible right now with taking care of a new baby but we could reshape and boost the colour and you will still feel like a new person after the pampering!
    In saying that your new cut is gorgeous and you have a great face for this look, I prefer you with the funky bob to the longer hair it’s a fresher modern yet timeless look!

  • I think you are beautiful, and so is your family. I wish I could tell you how much I enjoy your blog and your photos., particularly the ones of Theo and Beau. I am enjoying seeing this new little one, too.

    Your photos make me smile, and your thoughts are very meaningful. I appreciate your vulnerability and your willingness to be open-hearted with both who you are and your precious family. Thank you for sharing.

  • You accurately capture the way most of us feel postpartum. Just remember that this too, shall pass. Such a small moment in the scheme of things. In the meantime, that haircut looks a bit rock and roll — you’ve got to own it the same way you owned your pre-birth look!

  • Thank you for sharing! That is an exercise I think everyone could benefit from doing.

  • Thank you for sharing your feelings. I’ve never commented on a blog before but this hit home for me.
    Growing up isn’t easy, but for girls its even harder I think. There are so many regular issues you deal w/as a teen, but adding all the body image stress makes its much worse. I had an eating disorder from 12-15. I got help but its always a struggle & after 2 kids its not easy to not fall back into that mind set. My daughter is 14 now & I worry that any of those “I feel fat ” slips have done any damage . I try my best to make sure she knows shes beautiful inside & out & that her kindness ,humor , bright mind & love of life are what truly shines!
    You’re doing a good job momma, don’t beat yourself up about stuff too much! Life is good enjoy the ups and learn from the downs:) Take care.

  • I think that you look beautiful with your new haircut! It reminds me of the cut my stylist cave me when I went from having long hair to short. I think I will join you in your new “saucy” look. Going to call my stylist this morning and make an appt.

  • I don’t know if you take the time to read these posts or not (especially with a newborn) but I just wanted to say Thank you. I found your blog recently and started reading it during the end of my second pregnancy. That baby is now 6 months old and I feel like every day I can related to what you are going through. Your posts make me feel like I am not alone, in this crazy world we call motherhood. From your post about your relationship with your husband, to your recent insecurities after baby Evie, I relate to them all and they are a breath of fresh air. Thank you for sharing your life and thank you for reminding me that there is no better gift than being a mom. It can be tough and lack praise but it is the greatest gift in the world!

  • your honesty is so beautiful. you are a role model to so many because of it. because we are human and doubt ourselves and our appearance. but your beauty has grown tremendously with each life you have brought into this world.

    and i LOVE your cut!

  • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new cut. You are beautiful Inside and out as is your family. Thank you for sharing your life with us all to enjoy.
    May God continue to bless your beautiful family.

  • Thank you for another poignantly human post. I think we all forget that we are human and think people especially online people live these perfect lives. I follow your posts and think to myself ‘god she’s so perfect and beautiful and everything about her is flawless and perfect including her beautiful family.’ Not only were you the most beautiful pregnant person ever you even looked good after birth! I am two years post partum and I lost the weight but my body is forever changed and I feel like my nipples are dragging the floor from two years of nursing. We feel your pain sister but just know all those negative thoughts are just your mind, cause in reality you’re gorgeous and thousands of people love you.

  • Love this post. I think your haircut is very stylish. It will grow longer again in no time. Your little Zoe is so pretty. I bet she is loving her new little sister.

  • I cut my hair a few days before giving birth. I cut over 12 inches. I was highly emotional and honestly just didn’t care, I wanted something new. My dog was dying and I was a week overdo. I just wanted to change one thing I had control over. I think mine is too short too and after quickly losing a few pounds in the first 2 weeks postpartum, I haven’t lost anything since. I have about 8-10 lbs to go to get down to pre-pregnancy weight. Most of my clothes don’t fit and I feel yucky trying on my normal size jeans. (Hello muffin top.) I ordered a PiYo DVD to do while baby is sleeping and a bunch of boxy tops which will camouflage my waist until I get back to pre-pregnancy size. I don’t completely feel like myself yet either. I have faith that I’ll get there…you will too. And your hair looks great, as usual, even if you don’t like it. And, it’s only hair – it’ll grow. 🙂 You are beautiful inside and out and so is your daughter!

  • Jessica, every time I see a photo of you or anyone in your family (including Beau, of course!) I smile. I think you’re beautiful, inside and out, and I thank you for sharing your fears too.

  • So many silly articles are written about celebrities who “get their body back right away!” But they all have personal trainers, and they don’t have to keep a house clean or take care of four kids + husband. And they often have personal chefs. It sets the rest of us up for such unrealistic expectations!!

    You look beautiful. And your body has done incredible things – nurtured those four cuties!

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