I have been reading a lot of articles recently about beauty and how, as a society, we have a very distorted view of what Real Beauty is.
The airbrushing, the skinny-skinny models, the size 0 clothes, the pressure to be... basically what you are not, is overwhelming for women these days. And we are bombarded by these images on buses and in magazines in waiting rooms and in shops. We take in most of it without even realising.
I recognise that the most important thing I can do as a mother is to work on my own view of myself. Do I really see myself as beautiful? Can I truly accept myself right now, right here, stretch marks, wobbly belly and all?
Well, now that I have a daughter in the world, I have no choice. It is a journey I need to take.
So, really, this letter is to myself too.
My beautiful girl
Before you were even the size of a bean, I felt your absolute beauty. I could feel your essence so very strongly and I fell so in love with you.
And now, here you are, 6 whole years old and I still experience you the same way, except now I can look into your enormous blue eyes and drink you in with all your innocence and cheekiness and fun and sweetness. All of it is beautiful to me and all of it is welcome.
As you grow older, you will become more conscious of yourself. You will begin to identify more with your body. This can feel awkward at times and you will also notice that, as this inner process begins, the outer world will start to call to you. Quietly at first and then with more strength.
And this will be your journey. I will have to let you take it - and I trust you to do it beautifully because you are wise and strong and wonderful.
AND I will be here to remind you that you are not your body. You are a beautiful, whole, unique soul and that is what people experience and see when they are with you.
I will also remind you that the world is a bit of a strange place. There are lots of very odd ideas about what beauty is. We will make up our own definition and we will stick to that. We will not judge others on how they look, whether or not they can walk, how much weight they carry or any other outer sign.
We will commit to seeing ourselves, as best we can, as beautiful so that we can do this for others too. Because we truly can make a difference to each other's lives in this way.
You are beautiful just because, my precious girl.
May all women feel this deep sense of beauty and may we all support each other, compliment each other, pray for each other and really see each other as we journey together towards that goal.
ps If you haven't already seen it, click here to watch a short clip of Dustin Hoffman talking about just this in an interview - what an incredible person he is: