“My parents—your Jefe and Grammee—told me that I was smart and kind and pretty. They told me that I was enough.”
Jenna Bush Hager penned a powerful open letter to her young daughters, four-year-old Mila and two-year-old Poppy, as part of Today’s Love Your Body series. In it, the popular Today correspondent reminded them of their beauty, and encouraged them to always value who they are inside—lessons she says she learned from her own parents, Laura and George W. Bush.
“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,” the sweet letter begins. “I have never seen anything more beautiful than the two of you.
She went on to warn them that their purity and light could one day be shattered by the superficial 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.”
She goes on: “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.”
“My parents—your Jefe and Grammee—told me that I was smart and kind and pretty. 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.”
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Hager says her parents taught her and her twin sister Barbara that who she is is more important than how she looks—a lesson she hopes to impart on her own daughters.
“So, my precious babes, always, always know that just by being authentically you, you are more than enough,” she writes in closing. “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.”
We couldn’t agree more, Jenna.