Saturday

Beautiful

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My daughter is beautiful. I'm not just saying that because she is mine. I'm not just talking about her physical attributes. I'm talking about her whole package. She's kind. She's smart. She's helpful. She's respectful. She's quirky. She's confident. She's talented. She's unique. She's beautiful. And I desperately want her to always think those things about herself. No, know those things about herself.

But, society, media, and other girls & people are working against me. The images she sees on a daily basis may make her start to doubt her worth. There is this stigma out there that everyone must be perfect. Perfect skin, perfect weight, perfect body, perfect hair. Perfect, Perfect, Perfect. And lets not get into the lack of morality. Other girls may make her think her "flaws" are the only thing people see when they look at her. They may make her believe her uniqueness & non-conforming ways are wrong. Society wants her to feel fat.
There is no way this child should wear anything but the smallest size in junior clothes. Yet, in some stores, she needs a medium shirt. In other stores, she needs a 2 in pants. She is a tiny girl, height & weight. Her true size is extra small and double 0. Why are clothes being made smaller? Why, when I haven't gained any weight, are the sizes I usually buy too small now? What is this doing to our girls?

Dove has an awesome commercial addressing just this. All of our girls should feel beautiful. But, the truth of the matter is that very rarely do we. When looking in the mirror, the flaws are what jumps out at us.

I realize to stop this trend I need to start with myself. I try very hard not to be disagreeable when looking in the mirror, especially when she's around. I try very hard not to talk or tease about other people's flaws, especially in front of her. I try very hard to let her know that she is so much more than her looks. Yes, I want her to feel pretty. But, more importantly, I want her to like herself. I want her to know that who she is inside is so much more important than who she is on the outside.

Am I successful in all of the above? No, I'm not. Will I be successful in the long run? Only time will tell. God made my daughter just the way He envisioned her. It is my greatest wish that she believes...She is beautiful.

15 comments:

forgetfulone said...

She is a very cute girl! The epitome of the All-American girl, in my opinion. Our poor daughters all struggle with self-image, even more than we did, and it's a shame. Society makes it difficult to be unique.

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

This is a great post. You are so right in many ways. Your daughter is absolutely beautiful. You tell her we out here in bloggy land say so. And I know she is all those other things you mentioned too, which are just as important.

I say its time we who know what true beauty is- wrinkly smiles, stretch marked mommas, warts and all- start making ourselves heard.

Patois said...

Great minds think alike, eh? That article I wrote about where the woman got the "Mommy Make-over" gives just one more example of how society is playing with our girls' heads. You cite others. I hope we're able to counter some of the damage.

She's gorgeous, that girl. From everything I've read about her: inside and out, she's drop-dead beautiful.

Akelamalu said...

I popped over from David's (Authorblog) after reading your 'Roast of the Day' interview.

Your daughter is perfect just the way she is and, although it's difficult these days with the media, be happy in her own skin. I'm sure you're a great role model for her. :)

Sandi McBride said...

I've been feeling your pain for a couple of years now...my granddaughter just turned 9 in July and she's tall, but slender but the clothes sizes are just ridiculous...and if you think that's bad, I once wore a 10 which was pretty small I thought and suddenly that 10 is a 14...what do I care, I still look the same...but for my precious, I worry..I don't want her putting her finger down her throat or looking in a mirror and seeing an extra 30 pounds that isn't there...great post...I came from the Daily Roast...we are a Navy (Retired) family, so believe me, I know lol!
Sandi

jenny said...

Yep!!!

My daughter is really getting into those difficult years, I am afraid.

We've gotten some hand-me-downs from a friend, that my girl was wearing at 8 and 9 years. They were the extra small size. I can't imagine anyone older wearing those clothes? But they were from a store aimed at teens, I know. The shirts were all mom-approved, by the way, nothing racy or inappropriate! ;-)

Our Kappa Delta chapter throws a program one afternoon a year in conjunction with Dove. It's for Girl Scouts in our area, and the material is really good. (And I am coming from a sorority bias!) Sometimes coming from someone besides Mom and Dad, they take it better.

Actually, I'm going to be in charge of a class at church for our young girls (7 to 12), and this has gotten me to thinking . . .

Rho said...

Very eloquent! I have that goal for my DD also. Hugs/love will help, but girls are cruel. Sr High seems to be toughest, I think. Instill YOUR ideals long before she 'needs' them. Sounds like you are! :)

{{HUGS}}

Stacey said...

Amen sister! My beautiful daughter thought she was 'fat' at all of 101 pounds at the time. That ticks me off! Great post, lots to consider. xoxo

Stacey said...

And by the way---101 pounds 151 pounds, 181 pounds--it's all the same point! It's NOT OKAY to feel not okay.

Misty Dawn said...

You already know I'm crazy 'bout that girl. I think she is fantastic, sweet, funny, loving, considerate, mature, intelligent, amazingly talented, adventurous, and absolutely gorgeous in every way.

You're a great mom - don't ever allow yourself to think anything different.

Bubba's Sis said...

Lamb is such a beautiful girl - inside and out. I know this, because I am her "other mother". You are blessed with that girl, D... she is such a treasure. I like that she has on her bracelet in that last picture - the one that says, "To thine own self be true." I want both our girls to remember that always!

i beati said...

nice capsule abbout your daughter- enjoyed your roast sandy

Jamie Dawn said...

Excellent post! Our girls need all the positive encouragement they can get since so often they feel the pressure to be like super models or they feel worthless. It's ridiculous the standards our young ladies are held to and expected to try and achieve.
The Dove commercials are terrific.
Your daughter is beautiful! She should never feel inferior for any reason. Perfection is not achievable, even for those air-brushed super models.

The Source said...

I'm in complete agreement with your thoughts here. My 15 yr old daughter is the SAME size I was in high school...yet I wore a small. SHE has to wear a large in order to get a top to fit across her little size B chest without the buttons popping off. It's ridiculous and it makes her feel huge and self-conscious.

Your daughter is a lovely young lady! She will have a wonderful head on her shoulders and weather these years just fine!

jennyonthespot said...

Oh, this is such a precious and important post. Seriously, you brought tear to my eyes and a lump in my throat. You daughter IS beautiful, and she is blessed to have a a beautiful mother guiding her through these pivotal years :)