Childrearing

It’s Up To Us To Tell Girls ‘Pretty’ Isn’t Everything, Because Society Sure Won’t

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little-girl-looking-in-mirrorBeauty isn’t everything. We know it deep down, and we recite it over and over again, but sometimes it’s difficult to practice what we’re preaching. There are secret worlds inside of us where we worry that our thighs look fat in our jeans or wonder if our nose has a little too much character, but somewhere deep down we know better, and we have to convey that to our kids so they’ll know better too.

I’m thinking about this today because I came across a post on Reddit written by a mom who flatly admits that she finds her nine-year-old daughter physically unattractive and wonders if this means her daughter will have a hard time later in life. User UglyKidJoan writes:

“As our daughter matures, and believe me, I hate myself for saying this, please don’t lambast me, it just is a logical fact, she’s very physically unattractive. She got the worst traits of both my husband and I. His wide set eyes and strong nose, most of his facial bone structure, actually, my stocky build and curly hair, her skin tone is pretty much right between mine and his…

We love her dearly, and she IS a beautiful person. I wouldn’t want any other child, even if I could have the most physically beautiful child on earth. But the facts are still what they are. She’s not attractive.”

The user goes on to explain that her daughter is kind and generous with a beautiful heart, and that they never ever allude to her being physically unattractive, but other kids notice and say rude things about their daughter, and she wonders how they can possibly make it easier on the girl as she grows up and enters the awful world of puberty.

“…how can I help her look HER best? How do I answer the ‘am I pretty mommy?’ questions?”

My initial reaction to her post was, of course, shock and maybe even a little anger. I had the urge to clutch my pearls and think, how could someone say that about their kid? The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized I had no right to be mad at this mom.

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