This article has been swimming around in my head for several days now as I contemplated how to convey just how important it is to tell you daughter she is beautiful EVERY SINGLE DAY.
I know this idea has many self-proclaimed feminists seeing red already, but really I have no idea why it would offend you. As a society we have become so invested in making sure women are appreciated for all of their talents that we have made it a crime to call someone beautiful. Do not mistake my words though I also tell my daughters they are smart, kind, compassionate, creative and a host of other things daily but I include beautiful and let me tell you why.
My parents told me I was beautiful and I believed it.
When kids were mean, and let’s face it kids are mean how many super models report being told they were ugly as a kid, I knew they were wrong. Did it hurt to get called ugly by a snarling little boy or “popular” girl, of course, but after the sting wore off I knew deep down they were just being mean.
When I was bombarded by advertisements telling me what pretty looks like and that only a very specific type of person is beautiful I knew deep down they were wrong.
And when my friends failed to see the beauty in the mirror I helped them because I knew they were beautiful and I told them so.
Everyone applauds Dove for the great campaign about loving all types of beauty and I am right there with them, this campaign is awesome, but are we living it out? Are we telling our beautiful, beautiful little girls just how beautiful they are? Are we saying it enough, every single day not just on special occasions?
I love fashion and makeup and jewelry but I always stress to my girls that those things are fun accessories but they are not what make me or anyone beautiful. It’s the person you are, the way you treat people, the way you treat yourself that makes you beautiful. It’s the story of you, your dad’s eyes, your mom’s smile, that make you beautiful.
So I tell my girls each and every day that they are beautiful and smart and kind and loving and caring. I commend them on their character and praise their good choices. But I also tell them they are beautiful inside and out so when that freckle faced little boy or that gum chewing popular girl tells them otherwise it will sting but not pierce, and they will always remember my voice and their father’s voice telling them they are truly beautiful.