It’s amazing when a story about kids can also apply to the grownups in the room.
It all started when mother-of-two Allison Kimmey was walking her 5-year old daughter Cambelle out of a birthday party. The young girl was overcome with tears after witnessing something that broke her little heart. Cambelle’s best friend in the whole world had found a new BFF, and she was inconsolable over it.
Kimmey took to Instagram to share the moving conversation that followed. Knowing she had to help Cambelle see the bigger picture, the mom went above and beyond to deliver a message of true empowerment. Between her child’s tears, Kimmey got to the heart of Cambelle’s pain.
“We will all have many and different friends as we grow up and find our way,” Kimmey told her. “It will always be fun to have friends and play with other people, and your family is always here for you.”
What she says next gets me every time.
“But there is one person that you spend every second of the day with,” she wrote. “You have sleepovers with her every night. You do her hair, she does your makeup. She dances with you, she does art with you, she swims with you, she giggles with you and she cries with you. Do you know who I’m talking about?”
Cambelle waited for her mom to reveal who this magical best friend could possibly be.
“You! You are the person that you spend the most time with, forever, and it is important to remember that you always have a best friend in yourself,” she explained.
The exchange with her daughter reminded Kimmey how critical it is to love herself completely. The journey to self-acceptance has been a long one for the body-positive advocate, who spends much of her time working to inspire others to embrace their whole selves.
“Healing my own inner little girl has always been part of my mission and why I do what I do,” Kimmey tells Babble. “My deepest desire is to help raise a generation that does not need to recover from their circumstances, but thrives in love, empathy, and conviction in who they are.
And when the mom saw her kid overcome with such raw emotion, it brought her back to the lonely days of her youth. It was a time when Kimmey found it painfully challenging to make friends, and she struggled with being an only child.
“I spent many hours at home, by myself,” she says. “It was my least favorite thing to do. I spent so much time trying to make others like me, when I didn’t even take the time to learn to like myself.”
Kimmey doesn’t want to repeat the past with Cambelle, so she takes any opportunity she can to help build up her daughter’s self-esteem. The pair do positive affirmations, explore Cambelle’s strengths, and focus on looking beyond her appearance to how she helps make the world better. And Kimmey always provides her kids with a safe space to share feelings of any kind.
“We encourage education, asking questions, and keeping a very open communication,” she explains. “All of those things empower my children to be able to make their own choices, and that makes them feel independent and leads to building confidence.”
Kimmey’s conversation with her daughter was not only an important reminder for herself, but it also touched the hearts of nearly 4.7K people. And for me, her poignant words brought me back to some of the most isolating moments of my life and reminded me how far I’ve come to loving myself.
As an awkward young girl in New Jersey, I felt a tremendous struggle to make friends in school. I constantly worried about being liked and worked very hard to appear to be exactly what anyone needed. This resulted in limited friendships and a whole lot of self-hatred. Not once during my youth did I ever stop to believe that being myself was more than enough.
Thankfully, I’ve come a long way in the past few years and healed that little girl inside of me. Thanks to Instagram pages like Kimmey’s, I’ve learned to fall in love with the human being I see in the mirror. It certainly helps to know Kimmey is as much a work in progress as I am, and watching her learn to fully accept herself seriously keeps me going.
“My agent and I are really excited with the continued work on Glitter Stripes, [and] we are very hopeful that the first book in the Glitter Stripes series will be available this year,” the mom says.
Thank you Allison Kimmey for never ceasing to amaze me!