I was recently reading a blog by a person who does not tell her daughter that she is beautiful. Instead, this author uses the words “strong,” “smart,” “kind.” All of which are good words, and all of which I tell my daughter(and my son).
But I also tell them, both, that they are beautiful. Because they are.
I don’t want my daughter to grow up thinking her worth is based on her physical beauty. I don’t want her focusing on physical attractiveness to the exclusion of her intelligence and her wit and her strength.
But my daughter is beautiful, and I want her to know it.
I want her to know that her beauty ranks with sunsets over the lake and spring flowers pushing their way through the dirt. I tell her that she is innately beautiful, like waterfalls cascading over rocks. Why do I tell her this, when I don’t want her to focus on it?
Because I want beauty to be a part of her. I want her to be so confident that she is beautiful that it shines through, whether she is wearing her little cupcake pinafore or her red firefighter gear. I want her to know that she is beauty, the same beauty that is found in nature, beauty that simply is because that is how it was created to be. I want her to know that she is beautiful because she was born that way, not because of a dress size or makeup or hair style.
I want her to be so sure of her beauty that it becomes a part of her, not something she does, but something she simply is.
I want beauty to be so present in her that it doesn’t matter whether she is a size ten, like Mommy, or wearing a pink tutu and theater makeup like her aunts, or has soot on her face and a fireman helmet on her head like her Daddy–I want her to know she can be all of this, and beautiful.
So yes. I tell my little girl every day that she is strong, and smart, and funny–and beautiful.
Because she is.