On brains and beauty…

Okay, so I know this post on How to talk to little girls by Lisa Bloom  came out months ago, but I just read it yesterday.  I loved it, it was really smart and thoughtful, and what isn’t to love about celebrating a girl’s brain and love of reading?  At the same time, I would like to add to the post and say that I think it is equally important to teach little girls to be comfortable in their own skin.  I have told my daughter every day since she was born that she was smart and that she was beautiful.  She is 12 now, and is remarkably self-confident.  I have always tried to show her that I was confident in my looks and brains – and that was a normal way to be. I have also surrounded myself and daughter with lots of smart, beautiful women who are good role models as well.  In short, there is nothing wrong with being beautiful, as long as it matches what is within and doesn’t define you.  I try to teach her that beauty is in how you treat the people around you, and the people that you interact with on a daily basis.  Beauty is in an easy smile instead of a frown, and in forgiveness and love instead of hatred and intolerance.  I grew up in the 1970’s surrounded by Barbies – she was my absolute favourite toy.  I was dark and tanned and short – pretty far from Barbie’s statuesque, pale, blonde beauty.  It never affected how I felt about myself though, because my Mom showed me that beauty came from within and that I was beautiful in my own way.  I think that beauty comes from an inner self-confidence as well…you can be super pretty on the outside but if you are insecure and always doubting yourself and looking to others for your self-worth, it will be diminished.  In short, this parenting of daughters is super complicated and challenging and I work so hard to give her the tools to be a strong women out in this crazy world as she gets older…only time will tell…

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