The funny thing is, my next question for my peers or for those sweet little ones who are so adorable is “So what are you up to?”. We talk about lots of things. The thing is in most of my conversations, dresses and make up and nails are really not the topic of conversation. I have had many conversations with little girls about books, bugs, animals, space, the ocean, singing, art, reading, writing etc.
It’s so important to teach a girl that it’s not only okay to be smart, but to be proud of it. When I was in college, I clearly remember not telling new guys I met that I was at an Ivy League college because I grew up with the perception that smart girls were somehow less attractive…we really need to make sure our daughters don’t grow up thinking that too!
The article assumes that the adult has only one standard of beauty (thin and stylish)… But, THIS is the idea that needs to change. We need to see beauty in every person, and feel free to remark on it…. It will always make the recipient smile! THEN, you can start the deeper conversation.
So true…I have the most beautiful 5 year old. Everywhere we go people always make comments on how beautiful she is and she even has been asked to do modeling and commercials. I wish people would stop because she has become vain. Everytime someone gives a compliment we remind her to say to the people, “But more important, I am very smart!” People look at us weird and I wish they would realize how unconstructive their comments are. She is really smart though and is already reading 2 years above her age level. We really focus on that. Also when we do give compliments, it is very specific to either the action she did.
So very true. I feel that the idea of ??treating children more equally, whether they are boys or girls, has turned since I grew up in the 1970s. It’s not that I want us to make girls into boys and vice versa, but today the understanding of how a boy and a girl should “be”, is just too narrow. We are back in the 1950´s and 1960´s…
This made me sad… bc I am realizing that I do this with my own daughter. She is 4 and very girly… she loves dressing up and twirling around for everyone to tell her how pretty she is. But I need to make more of an effort to concentrate on the more important things. Its funny how life gets so busy that you miss the obvious. Thank you for this… very inspiring.
This was a wonderful article especially with the huge following for the toddler/girl beauty pageants. I can’t believe that someone would subject a small child to that type of stress and have them thinking that the only thing you can be is a princess type.
Girls are intelligent and able to do anything that they want in life, as long as there are parents behind them with encouragement and love.
I must admit that when my daughter was born ( after 2 sons) I was hoping for a “girly girl”. Well, she had two brothers to play with and instead of ballet , she is a 2nd Black Belt in Taekwondo and competes in local and national competitions. She is smart, she is beautiful and she is strong. She is also doing something that she loves and works very hard with her coach to be the best that she can in her chosen sport. At 13, she wants to look nice but that doesn’t include make up or anything drastic. She is taking pre-ap classes and some 9th grade classes while in the 9th grade. She is now my idea of what a girl should be, strong, smart and passionate about her life.
I *completely* agree. I am 30 years old and see my family (parents, aunts, uncles, etc.) probably around 3 or 4 times a year. I lived in Paris for six months and the very first thing that nearly every person said after seeing me when I returned was “wow! you lost weight!” I was so mad and found it ridiculous. Upon reflection I realized that my parents were very focused on appearance throughout my childhood/teenage years and in fact still are (my mom recently told me she was worried about my sister because she seemed unhappy AND had gained weight). I am sure if I told them this they would be horrified. After all they did/do praise my sister & I all the time for being smart and accomplished which have nothing to do with looks. I think it shows our societal unconscious obsession with being skinny. I really hope and will make a conscious effort when I have children to NOT talk about weight and appearance.
I realize that your post is almost 2 years ago, and that you might never see this…but just in case you do, I want to let you know that your post brought tears to my eyes. You are now 17 and probably entering one of the last years of high school. I hope you’ve continued on being a smart and special young woman, ready soon to enter the world and make an even larger impact!
All hail SMART! I remember being so fixated on appearance in high-school that it was painful. Here are the points that I should have realized then:
1) Pretty wasn’t going to get me into university. I am now working on my Ph.D. in biology.
2) Pretty wasn’t going to get me the grades I needed to maintain.
3) Pretty wasn’t going to get me a job in my field of interest.
4) Pretty wasn’t going to get my papers published. No scientist sends mug shots in with their research write-ups.
5) Pretty did not lead to me meeting my husband. He thinks the whole package is beautiful, but he always says that he has never been interested in someone who lacks intelligence.
For as smart as I was in high-school, appearance was the one place where I woefully idiotic. I was too obsessed with thinking that I wasn’t pretty enough. I also had a constant stream of people telling me how pretty my younger sister was. It took me awhile to mentally overcome that conditioning.
Be smart. Beauty – true beauty – comes from passion in your life and interests. Intelligence will give you that passion.
Beauty is more than skin deep, however. Not fitting society’s standard of beauty does not make you ugly. You can still be a beautiful person, and people won’t even notice the way your outsides are arranged.