Each month we interview a Sparkle Squad mom who inspires us to keep putting kids first with every product, post and video we put out there. Ever since we first met Stephanie Prosa and her three amazing girls last year, we knew we just had to spotlight her as our first Monthly Mom Crush. Stephanie approaches motherhood (and life) with tenacity, openness and a contagious love for creative expression that’s reflected in her daughters, too. Earlier this month, we sat down to ask the wife, mom and blogger about staying creative, committing to body positivity and choosing safe makeup for kids.
Your blog is an endless source of creative ideas...how do you keep them coming? Have you always been super creative?
I didn’t discover my creativity until later in life. Photography, painting, DIY ideas all came after I had my first kiddo at 19. But I’ve always been a natural with writing and that’s one of my favorite passions. A big way I keep creativity flowing is by finding and following other creatives — Pinterest is a great source of inspiration to spark those fun ideas!
Who are some of the creatives you follow for inspiration?
Omg, so many! @studioDIY & @ohhappyday for crafts and DIY tips; @ashwisdom for home design; @alexmichaelmay for fashion and real life; @jengotch for anxiety and depression talk; @tessholliday for self-love; @iskra, @candacehuffine, @bodiposipanda for body positivity...and @joyfullygreen is a blogger I look up to.
Do you think it’s important to encourage creativity in your daughters?
Absolutely! I remember when we lived in New Jersey for my husband’s job in the military and they cut music and art from the school curriculum. I frantically went to craft stores and bought so many arts and crafts to keep that creative expression going at home. Kids NEED to feel that they are safe to express themselves — whether with music, writing, painting, dancing or putting on makeup — it helps to teach who you are and what your passions are.
Your blog is more than a creative outlet. It’s a part of your self-love journey and mission to empower others. Will you share the story of your journey with us?
I grew up in a home where talking negatively about yourself was the norm. I continued that cycle until my oldest daughter was 13. I heard her say she hated her body and wished she could change parts of herself. I immediately knew I was to blame because it’s what I had taught her. She had heard me many times saying the same things to that mirror, and she was following in my footsteps. That was a hard pill to swallow. That’s the exact moment I decided to never say those things again, and I promised to only talk about myself in a positive way. It took me a full year to un-teach myself everything I’d learned, but I’ve kept that promise ever since! Today I’m at my highest weight, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
Can body positivity change the world?
I believe so. From a young age, society is teaching us to want to fix our bodies — to stay thin, to alter our appearances, to please others. Body positivity is teaching us to SEE ourselves. It shows us we are more than our bodies. We are accepting our bodies, loving our bodies, and in turn becoming less judgmental of others. In my opinion, the most important part of body positivity is that we are becoming more skeptical of what the media tells us. We are teaching our young girls that they deserve respect and love regardless of their size and shape.
Do you remember your first makeup memory?
As a girl, I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup, so I’d sneak it into my backpack and put it on in class. My mom found out when her lip liner went missing. Sorry, mom!
How did those early experiences as a girl influence your parenting decisions when your daughter(s) expressed interest in makeup?
It taught me to be open and honest and let my daughters decide for themselves if it’s something they’re interested in. Prohibiting it only makes your kiddos sneak it, and in turn makes them feel it’s wrong when it’s not! I hope my girls see makeup as a way to express themselves and add to their natural beauty. I hope they see it in a positive way.
Why did you choose Petite ‘n Pretty makeup for your daughter(s)?
Initially, the branding. I’m a sucker for packaging, brand colors and a good message. Petite ‘n Pretty exceeds expectations in all of that. The bonus is that it’s safe and kid friendly makeup! It’s super important to me to know what chemicals are in my kids’ products. With safe kids makeup, I can rest easy and know that we aren’t putting anything on my daughter’s skin that will trigger her eczema.
If you could go back in time, what note would you leave on your mirror when you first discovered makeup.?
“Go easy on the liner.” LOL.
What advice would you give other parents raising creative kids in a digital world?
I’d say to be open and honest. Kids are growing up even faster with the digital world at their fingertips. They’re going to be curious, and they’re going to compare themselves to others. They’re going to think a certain number of likes and followers will make them happier. As parents, it’s our job to be open and honest and walk them through this. Unfortunately, we are the first generation with kids on social media so we’re on our own learning all this. An important thing to remember is to allow your children to express themselves. Allow them to follow trends, to dress a certain new way, and to listen to different music. They’re learning who they are and what they like. The world around them is inspiring them and that's not such a bad thing.
Last, but not least: Your bio says you're passionate about cheese fries. Same. Where can we find the best cheese fries?
Hands down — Outback Steakhouse! They use two types of cheese and top it with bacon with a side of homemade ranch…yum!