Every day I get an email from one of my favorite sites, blogher.com. This morning, during a short reprieve of talking about President Thomas Jefferson and the start of WWII, I sat down and looked at my email and opened up an article titled, “Damn you, Barbie!”.
Little did I know that this article would affect my thoughts throughout much of the rest of the day.
The article was about how this woman’s young daughter who said that she wanted long straight yellow hair and blue eyes because those are “the prettiest kind.”
Beauty is such a subjective word. To me, a woman’s beauty means confidence, positivity, and empathy. But, to me, it also means skinny, stunning eyes, and beautiful long wavy hair. Probably brunette too. Ya, brunette. I see ‘Kate’ from Lost I think. She was pretty freakin’ awesome.
So what is it that gives us this “vision?” As the author points out, so much of it is tied to media and the Disney, Barbie, world we live in and see every day. I try… TRY to expose my daughter and son to different kinds of “beauty.” Different color of skin, different ‘jobs’ (not all beautiful people need to be princesses you know- there can be pretty hot warriors and teachers and janitors) different body shapes, different personalities…
But it’s an upward battle, because even I fall prey to the “skinny and pretty” societal description of beauty.
Then comes the hardest part of the article where she had the sweetest solution. She proceeded to ask her daughter who was a beautiful person that she knew. Her daughter, just like most daughters would, said, “You, Mommy!” Then discussion was had about how they looked alike, and that since her daughter thought she was beautiful, and they looked alike, they were both beautiful. (Quick summary- you should really read the article itself- very cute.)
And that’s where I struggle.
My daughter doesn’t look like me. (In my opinion she is WAY more beautiful!) But I can’t go to her when she is having image “issues” (and every girl does it seems, out loud OR inside) and use that super sweet article as a good example.
I hope I can give her the confidence that she is her own kind of beautiful. That she looks so much like her beautiful birthmom, and that beauty is so much more than skin deep. I hope that although she may not look like me, I pray that she can learn traits like confidence, positivity, and empathy. THAT form of beauty she can receive from us, with a lot of hard work and cautious parenting.
She already has her own kind of beautiful. She lights up a room with her smile, she has so much positive energy, remembers everybody’s names, is funny, loves easily, and is gorgeous in every way possible.
I hope she knows that always. And if she ever doubts it, I hope I can remind her of how amazing, and beautiful she truly is.