I’ve been thinking of the kids a lot lately, and if you have been reading my Smirking Cat blog, you know that raising strong, confident girls has been a concern of mine lately. (Of course I want the boys to be strong and confident too…it just seems like there are far more poisons in our culture attacking girls than boys, and parents need to fight that, not contribute to it.)
How is that relevant to this beauty blog? Well, I would love to hear what you think about raising strong, healthy, confident children, particularly girls, in a society so enraptured with appearance at the expense of character or inner beauty.
What message would you like to share with your daughters, your nieces, your friends’ children, any little girl growing up in a world that emphasizes her hair and body over her achievements and ambitions?
I know what I would like to tell them, and hope they remember. I would tell them, “You are smart, funny, creative, and strong. You are also beautiful, but please don’t think you are defined by what you look like. Please don’t fall into the trap of defining yourself by what you look like! Your face, your hair, your body, are all parts of you, not the essence of you. Society will tell you you’re not thin enough, not blonde enough, don’t have long enough hair, your lashes aren’t thick enough, your forehead isn’t smooth enough, your lips aren’t inflated enough….society will keep smashing you until you break if you let it. DON’T. When you think of who you are, remember what I told you first…you are smart, funny, creative, and strong. You are many things, and you can do many things. When people try to box you in and define you by your looks, speak up and don’t let them. When people try to tell you what you can’t do or what you should do, tell them you have your own mind. When this beauty-obsessed, woman-devaluing society tries to kick you, step aside and let it fall on its face in the wake of your own knowledge of your strength, your inner beauty, and your transcendence over shallow and petty definitions of a human being.”
I have luckily managed to strike a healthy balance between enjoying make-up as a fun, creative outlet, but mainly appreciating and highly valuing my abilities, talents, and achievements. I don’t define who I am, by what I look like. I fear Dove and Sunflower will be snared in that trap, measuring their worth by their attractiveness to others who don’t even care what shines inside of them. It’s a pit so many little girls are in danger of falling into, and the only ones who change that is us. All of us.
What would your message to little girls be? What would your message to little boys be, or even to other women?