I have a daughter, in case you’ve never read my blogs before. She’s almost 3, and absolutely adorable. Sure, I am biased, but according to audiences aged 5 and up, she gets a resounding “cute” vote.
And hey, there’s nothing that pumps my small ego more than the words, “You look beautiful today,” but in fact, that’s most of the problem or all of the problem.
One of the first things people say to my daughter almost every time they meet her, is how pretty she is.
Now, I have a child who presents her shoes, bows, or outfits to total strangers.
“Do you like my pretty shoes?”
Yes, she goes up and talks to just about any adult.
Apple and the tree here.
And of course, her mother, me, is the mother who doesn’t go everywhere wearing yoga pants. No offense moms, I’m just fastidious about what I wear and keep gym clothes for the gym. Most of the times.
So sure, could we line her and me up and say, “Of course a mom who loves clothes could have a girl who loves clothes?”
I just hate that the first thing every single individual says to my daughter is revolved around her looks and outfit.
She will always be a pretty face to me, but she is also so much more than that.
I sometimes wonder, if I put a bag over my own body and face, how many strangers would talk to me, or for many decent-looking women?
Is there anything wrong with a great pair of shoes? Of course not, but I don’t want my daughter to be so invested in how she looks that who she is inside falls by the way side.
And what we aren’t saying to our girls, is just as telling. Do strangers ask her what she likes to do, or how her day is?
When we constantly focus on how girls look and what they are wearing, that is all they will focus on as well.
As she gets closer to 3, I see it. The appearance and “gender” comments are coming up in droves, especially now that she is in school.
“These are boy stickers Mommy,” she tells me.
No, I empathetically stated. Any sticker is for anyone. My feminist mind started to ramble on what to say. How boys can love princesses and girls can love cars, and that yes daughter, Princesses wear pants.
She had insisted to me that Princesses Do. Not. Wear. Pants!
For the love of god, you have no idea how many times my daughter as asked me to tell her a fairy tale story…and I have added, “And then Cinderella ran the business, while Prince Charming dealt with the chores,” at the end, or something to that affect.
I have accepted that princesses and fairies are just part of my every day life, and I will admit to having a deep fond love for Beauty & the Beast, and I know that fairy tales are a source of imagination, and my girl tells stories and sings songs all day long, even to herself.
There is nothing wrong with that.
I just hope she grows up to know that she is more than her face and body.
She is everything and anything she wants to be.
I know that no matter what, I will love her.