My girls: you are beautiful!


I read an article recently, and I have seen this “new” idea passed around more and more frequently lately, essentially telling us to “stop telling our daughters they are beautiful because it causes body image problems”. Oyy.

Let me say this, my daughters are gorgeous. I mean really, they have perfect porcelain skin, big blue eyes, one with small brown curls, and the other a mess of strawberry blonde hair that will leave you aching to run your fingers through it. My oldest has perfect mile long eyelashes, and a smile that will melt you. My youngest is long and lean, and I imagine her with a dancer’s physic one day. But even if they didn’t have a classic american beauty to them, I would tell them everyday that they are beautiful. Why? Because it’s true. Some of us have a natural striking appearance, and others have a more subtle beauty. But I will forever believe that each woman has an essence of beauty to her.

Let me also point out, that I am not discussing internal beauty, not their amazing humor, or overwhelming charm. No, I am strictly speaking about what you can see. This has become a taboo thing to do. How dare I state that my child is good looking without first saying she is strong, and bold, and funny. Though she is. How dare I suggest that someone may look at her and note her loveliness. Though she possesses it. I must be teaching her to be vain and not to value anything else. Right? Isn’t that what we’ve heard? We can only talk about the beauty we possess as woman on the inside, or we are being high on ourselves, we are self centered and self immersed.. But this is not so. This is a lie, a deadly one.

Beauty is just as outward as inward, and it is fallacy to pretend otherwise. The article I read suggested that by telling our daughters that they “look” beautiful, we are distracting them from what they “are”. Allow me to elaborate. The writer believes that by telling a little girl when she is dressed up that she “looks pretty” we are essentially demoting her everyday appearance and telling her she “isn’t pretty” the rest of the time. She believes we ought to tell our children that they “are” something, and not that they “look” like something. I went back and forth. I am not a fool, I understand where she is going, but at the core of our beliefs…could I agree? Why did this not rest easily on my heart? Why did the idea that I shouldn’t tell my daughter she looks beautiful, bother me? Because not telling her wouldn’t be true.

I’d like to first say, I agree with the author that when our sweet baby girls are dressed in tiaras and tutus we shouldn’t only tell them in that moment they look beautiful. Though they are. But where I disagree is that we shouldn’t say it at all. We should instead, I believe, say it MORE often. Many, many times in a single day I look at my two girls and tell them how beautiful they are. I often follow these statements by saying, “and funny, and so so smart, and creative”. But I usually start by saying “Oh, Isla you are so beautiful,” or “Adi, you are so lovely,” I spend a lot of time instilling in my girls that their external beauty has a value, while EQUALLY focusing on the their internal attributes. Neither being more than the other. Why? Because I value their personalities, a great great deal. BUT, and stay with me here, I also value the way that they look. I do. There is a reason. There’s a reason feminine beauty has power. It was always meant to. It is at the core of many a story, a beauty that is rescued and fought for. It is at the core of evil, the beauty is attacked and crushed. Beauty is a force that is to be reckoned with, and has always been since the beginning of time.

Have you ever wondered why so many little girls twirl around their living rooms dreaming of being a BEAUTIFUL princess?

Think of any fairy tale you’ve ever heard, and tell me this isn’t so? There’s a reason we have passed down theses stories without really changing the characters. Cinderella ALWAYS turns into a BEAUTIFUL girl at the ball. Snow White is attacked because she is the FAIREST of all. Sleeping BEAUTY is actually the name of one of these stories! It is not all that they are about, and I don’t believe in making it so, but it IS a part of them. Why are we so afraid to admit that and embrace that, today?

Have you ever wondered why so many little girls twirl around their living rooms dreaming of being a BEAUTIFUL princess? Or why we stop a little longer in the mirror when we are dressed for a big event? Why a room can stop and turn on a dime when someone BEAUTIFUL walks in? Why do little girls ask their father’s, “how do I look?” Is it something they’ve been taught? Perhaps somewhat. Or has the question always lay beneath the surface, searching to be answered: Am I beautiful? Am I worth pursing and fighting for?

Because beauty has power, it is not to be taken lightly, we woman all possess it for a purpose. We were designed with it.

I believe that if I teach my girls at home that they are beautiful, so incredibly beautiful inside and OUT, they won’t have a need to search for that question to be answered elsewhere. Too many of us, myself included, have spent the better part of lives waiting for someone to say “you look beautiful” to value the time we’ve spent making ourselves feel presentable. Many of us can pinpoint the first person who told us how “pretty” they thought we were. But what if you’d always known you were beautiful? What if you’d always believed you were stunning? That you woke up “flawless”? What kind of confidence would you have to face the world? You wouldn’t need to spend time working the gull up to walk outside without makeup on or six inch heels. Though both options being perfectly acceptable to choose, as well. You would have the power to decide how you wanted to dress because it would be only for yourself,and not because you need to have your appearance affirmed. You could be AMAZING.This is what I want for my girls.

I am not raising self absorbed children, i am raising strong ones. Women who know who they are so vividly they need not search for anyone else in the world to credit it to them. When they have friendships and relationships, they can base it on everything else in their lives, because they already know that how they look has value.

So when I tell my girls they are beautiful, and lovely, and cute, it is because I am empowering them. If the question of outward beauty has been long answered for them, the search for inward beauty has the possibility to be at the fore front of their mind. And that, my friends, is why I will NEVER stop telling my daughters they are beautiful. Because it is truth.