Today I read a blog on “How to Talk to Little Girls” which both encouraged me and reminded me why I’m terrified of my daughter growing up in this crazy world. My daughter’s only three, but I take her sense of value and self worth very seriously. I could always do a better job, but one way that I have consistently tried to make a difference is that whenever she has on some jewelry or a princess dress and says “don’t I look beautiful?” I tell her that her accessories are “fancy” but that she is beautiful all on her own. I then make a point of complimenting at least 3 other attributes (her kindness, intelligence, athleticism, humor, etc.). We also talk about heroines from her princess stories and look at the beauty within. I really want to help her find beauty in places where no teasing boys, no jealous girls, and no greedy media can ever take it away from her. It breaks my heart when I see beautiful, talented, hard working women doubt their value. Brynn and I had a talk on the ride home from brunch about presentation. I can’t even remember how we got talking about it, but we talked about how presentation can take a lot of time and talent, but it can superficial and often temporary. Brynn deduced that this was the reason that if she puts lipstick on that it fades away over time. I complimented her insight and then told her that who she is, underneath the makeup, is the best part, and that never goes away. She said thank you and then the conversation turned to “The Little Mermaid”, but for a couple minutes I was able to get her to consider ideas of worth and permanence, things that often times get taken for granted, skewed, and misused.
I don’t want my daughter to feel that she needs to know who she is and what she wants out of life anytime soon. I’m still trying to figure out exactly who I am and what I want to be when I grow up. But I want Brynn to feel confident that whoever she is becoming that she is wonderful and worth being loved, and anyone or anything that tells her otherwise is only intentionally trying to hurt her for their own gain.
It’s going to be a long hard fight against some of the social pressures that are in our face all the time, but she’s worth the effort.