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Home ยป Kids ยป You’re beautiful

You’re beautiful

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A few weeks ago Kiara and I went shopping to spend her birthday money. While browsing the stationery section at Pick n Pay (she is her mothers child) an elderly gentleman who was shopping with his wife came up to me and told me I have such a beautiful daughter.

He was not being creepy or weird, I was not freaked out at all – it was just someone giving Kiara a compliment. I did fluff out my chest a little and smiled and thanked him.

That same week Kiara asked me to sign her merit list. She was explaining what they were for “And this one mom, is because I am cute!”

Say what?! A merit for being cute?

Upon further investigation what had happened was that her one teacher had signed for an extra merit, when she pointed it out to him, he said “Keep it because you are cute!”

The same teacher, the same week further went on to tell her that she has an advantage because she is cute!

SAY WHAT!?!

This did not sit well with me at all!

Yes my daughter is cute, she is beautiful and the older she gets the more beautiful she becomes. More and more people comment on it. Of course I do feel proud. I see her beauty and I marvel in it.

That is not my issue. My issue is that now she is being taught that her beauty can be used to get what she wants. She is being taught that her cuteness is an advantage. THIS is my issue and it is a big issue for me. It would be hypocritical to say I have never used my blue eyes to get what I want or flirted a bit to get out of trouble – as women, we have all done it. As my friend Ansie would say, it is the curse of the vagina! But I don’t want her being taught how to use her looks to manipulate and get what she wants – it is superficial and goes against everything I believe in.

It is also a very hard issue to deal with because I can’t tell her she isn’t pretty. I can’t tell people to stop telling her (except for the teacher maybe). I can, obviously, tell her to not use it to get what she wants but we all know that actions speak louder than words.

So I am not really sure how to deal with this to be honest.

What would you do? How would (or will) you deal with your daughter?

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10 Comments

  1. 13 May, 2014 / 12:03 pm

    I’ve never really considered cuteness to be a physical trait. Obviously physicality plays a role, but to me it seems he called her “cute” because she was honest enough to point out his mistake instead of taking advantage of it. Unless Kiara struts around like Queen Cow I think it’s ok to attribute good things with “cuteness”. Cuteness means sweet, friendly and fun to be around to me. Personally I think it’s ok for that to count for something.

  2. 13 May, 2014 / 12:08 pm

    I think you know that we have had this for years – not cute because she is rather of the tall and classic type, but random comments on her beauty all the time. So very deliberately we are focusing on other ways of being beautiful than physicality – like good manners, being a good friend etc and always the mantra” Beauty is what lies inside your heart”. Hoping this counters the message the outside world sends.

    And Kiara is really a beautiful child- you will get this more and more

  3. 13 May, 2014 / 12:28 pm

    I agree with Cat and with Nadine. At home you will always center her with the words you use…you will bring her back to it not being all about the physical. The value system you teach her is what will remain in her heart…I believe that totally. She is beautiful and she is cute…what more can a girl want ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. 13 May, 2014 / 1:17 pm

    I have the same problem with our girls. We can’t go anywhere without people commenting on how beautiful they are. The brief stints with modelling don’t help either.

    When I am with them I to try and fight the urge to continue in this way. I try and praise them for doing things like listening or being helpful etc. Not sure if it’s helping.

    If you figure out something let me know!

  5. 13 May, 2014 / 1:20 pm

    Mmm…tough one. I’d maybe try to find a nice way to explain that cute and pretty don’t always count in your favour, and it’s better to be valued for your personality and skills than what you look like? If it’s not going to her head I wouldn’t worry about it ( other than the inappropriateness of the teacher!).

  6. 13 May, 2014 / 1:29 pm

    I get this with Ava as well. Everyone is always telling her how beautiful/pretty she is and I always try to counter balance that in an age appropriate way by telling her how clever she is.
    I totally hear what you’re saying. I don’t want Ava to feel like her only worth is her pretty face. There is so much more to her than just that.

  7. 13 May, 2014 / 2:44 pm

    Its a really good point. I like what cat said about focusing on other types of beauty too.

  8. 13 May, 2014 / 3:11 pm

    it’s difficult, especially with girls, to know how to deal with these issues of the superficial kind.

    I don’t have a good answer; mostly I deflect or don’t make a big deal if other people comment on looks but I do emphasise the other things we value.

  9. Mrs FF
    14 May, 2014 / 10:57 am

    She is beautiful and I think everyone has said it. The key thing is the values instilled in her. That said every woman (and girl) needs to know they are beautiful inside and out!

  10. 14 May, 2014 / 3:46 pm

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this since we chatted about it at coffee the other day. In fact I have so much to say about this that I will have to find time to blog about it soon. I will write a novel here if I don’t.

    xxx

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