NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Jenna Bush Hager attends 2017 Matrix Awards at the Sheraton New York Times Square on April 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
John Lamparski—WireImage
June 1, 2017 10:44 AM EDT

Just in case it wasn’t obvious why Jenna Bush Hager and her adorable family made the 2017 PEOPLE’s World’s Most Beautiful issue, the Today show correspondent has authored a new piece to further drive home the point.

Addressed to daughters Poppy Louise, 21 months, and Margaret “Mila” Laura, 4, the letter, published on Today‘s website as part of their Love Your Body series, touches on the themes of beauty and self-worth, along with some lessons about self-acceptance that she hopes her girls carry within themselves as they grow.

“When I’m on the road, traveling away from you, I compulsively scroll through photos of you on my phone,” begins Bush Hager, 35. “I look at your eyes bright, your smiles wide, your skin pure. I have never seen anything more beautiful than the two of you.”

“It is the way you look — your blue eyes (that I longed for as a girl) and your golden hair — but more than that, it is YOU!” she continues. “I see all of you: your kindness, your exuberance, your creativity and, yes, your rambunctious humor.”

“But, my darling girls, that purity and light I see in your eyes could one day be shattered by our world,” Bush Hager writes. “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.”

The former first daughter, who is married to Henry Hager, shares her own insecurities she had as a young girl, including over her braces and height.

“My hearts, you, too, will look in the mirror and not always like what you see,” Bush Hager adds. “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.”

The mother of two goes on to say her parents — George W. Bush and Laura Bush, known as “Jefe and Grammee” to their granddaughters — told her she was “smart and kind and pretty” as a child, but that she “didn’t always believe them” when they told her she was beautiful.

“They taught me that who I am is more important than how I look,” Bush Hager explains of her parents. “And that if I radiate love, kindness and empathy, I can bring some light to this dark world (and isn’t that better than being a size zero?).”

“So, my precious babes, always, always know that just by being authentically you, you are more than enough,” she concludes the letter. “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.”

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