As a mother- I work overtime to continually counteract my daughter’s negative statements with positive ones. I’ve also forked over a cool, $399 for new frames and spent many an early morning before she heads to school burning my fingers to a crisp straightening her hair.
Yet I wonder; perhaps working overtime attempting to help her attain a look she is pleased with is the wrong way to go about it. When it comes to Teaching our daughters the definition of real beauty the bottom line is, short of hiring Louis Licari as her personal hair stylist and Rachel Zoe to meet her wardrobing needs- no amount of reassurance on my part is going to assuage her of her insecurities.
How can we go about Teaching our daughters the definition of real beauty- and that this physical stuff is unimportant compared to what lies beneath the exterior? Every day I’m shuffling….trying to indoctrinate her with knowledge, encourage her academic and intellectual pursuits and convince her these are traits which are far more worthy and as seductive as that pin straight hair she pines for….but feeling like I’m engaging in an uphill battle and that we’ve only just begun.
Teaching our daughters the definition of real beauty
For starters moms need to do away with statements like these; “Let me help you fix your hair so it looks cute,” or “Let’s go to the mall and buy you a new outfit.”
Us moms need to come up with other mother daughter activities than going to the mall. Go on a local hike, ride bikes together or do something unique like checking out an art exhibit you normally wouldn’t attend. There’s nothing better than getting young girls involved in volunteering and helping others. Moms and daughters can volunteer to walk dogs at a local animal shelter; especially since the dogs don’t care if you come with messy hair and worn-out jeans. All These experiences ultimately teach girls that what they do is more important than what they look like.
Of course all this being said, in regard to society’s obsession with appearance and not letting those messages enter my realm of thinking is not entirely possible.
If there is a brand of clothes that has magic powers to make her feel pretty, I’m all for it. Living in NYC there’s no way to avoid the very close connection between feeling “good enough” and outward beauty. Unfortunately That’s just not going to change because confidence in your outward appearance helps allow your inner real beauty to shine.
In my effort to get my daughter to believe and appreciate that, just as she is, she is indeed enough, and to soften the impact of outside pressures I try to provide my daughter with a loving and powerful reminder throughout her day that she is already enough by default.
As mothers, when it comes to teaching our daughters about real beauty, we need to work from the inside out. And next time I hear even the slightest bit of self defeatist speak I will take her face into my hands and tell her, ” just as you are, simply put, you are enough.”