Her Beauty: A Mother’s Wish For Her Daughter.
One day she’ll hate the freckles we once lovingly called Angel Kisses, and she’ll wish for her long, straight hair to be short and curly. But today she is a ten-year-old girl, content to brush out her hair and toss it over her shoulders, smiling into a mirror without looking away in “Why am I so ugly?” pain that may one day arrive. Any day, in fact.
She’s growing fast, much faster than I am happy with. It’s odd for me to admit, but I don’t feel the same fears for my growing sons that I feel for Stacey. Perhaps it is because I don’t know what it’s like to be a boy, but I remember very well what it’s like to be a little girl. And I remember feeling ugly every day.
As a little girl, I don’t have memories of someone telling me I was beautiful, or even pretty…or even, “Hey, it doesn’t hurt when I look at you.” So perhaps I work hard to compensate with my daughter for my own personal pain. I know she will one day soon not see the same beauty I see, but I never want her to grow up and believe those thoughts she had as a girl because she didn’t hear often enough that her outer self was just as beautiful as her inner self.
It matters not what we are told all our lives, that it’s the inside that counts, not what is on the outside. The truth is, we live in a world where we are first judged by our outward appearance. And those who don’t feel confident with that outward appearance often feel less inner confidence. I don’t want MY daughter to feel that way.
So I look at Stacey and I tell her daily, “You’re so beautiful, you’re so smart, and you’re so wonderful,” and I reinforce it when a moment calls for it: “Look at what I can write, Mommy,” she’ll say, and I’ll say, “That’s wonderful! You’re so smart for thinking of that idea.” And sometimes she’ll say, “Does my hair look good like this?” and I’ll say, “It looks beautiful, just like you.” And she smiles. She smiles now because she believes it is the truth – which it is – and that makes knowing the days are coming where she will instead roll her eyes in disbelief so painful to me.
“You are giving her such a big head,” my husband sometimes says. Maybe. Or maybe I’m helping her understand she is beautiful inside and out, so that maybe one day she doesn’t hate her face, her hair, her Angel Kiss freckles, and her golden, yellow straight hair, and she will feel 100% confident when she faces anything in life, knowing she is confident with herself through and through.