Hey yall it’s Mo…..this is going to be a longer-than-usual, coming-out-of-left-field post….
If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen references/videos/photos of my 8-yr old daughter, AKA Punkin. She is my only kid, a mini-version of me and the joy of my heart. The moment I started losing weight during my first trimester I knew I was having a girl (only a little me would give me that much grief…).
Being mommy to a girl is challenging; there is a delicate balance of teaching her to be strong in her own identity, and be confident in her abilities. I want her to know that she’s smart, funny, a good person and that she is loved for the human being she is, and anyone that doesn’t accept that can kick rocks.
At the same time, I also want her to know that she’s beautiful/pretty/cute/(whatever little girl appropriate adjective to favorably describe physical appearance).
I know what you’re thinking: “Mo, you talk about girl power and doing anything you can set your mind to, you’ve been a boxer, a soldier, you’re a self-proclaimed nerd and you preach about embracing our unique selves! You’re not practicing what you preach!”
The reality is that we live in a world where physical appearance matters (it sucks, doesn’t it?). So to raise my daughter in an environment where there is no mention of her looks (or teach her that they don’t matter at all) is unrealistic. It begs the question of whether the women of today that struggle with trying to meet society’s standards of beauty, and hurting themselves emotionally, mentally, physically in the process learned to embrace all that makes them uniquely beautiful as little girls.
Why Your Daughter Needs to Know that She’s Beautiful
I don’t want her to fall for the first knucklehead that tells her she’s pretty and do whatever it is that he’s trying to convince her to do. Instead I want her response to be, “My mommy and Daddy have already told me that, what else do you have to offer, besides some tired, dry line?” (okay, the second part sounds like me, LOL)
Like it or not, what we believe about our physical appearance affects how we feel about ourselves. It is only when she loves herself as a whole that she’ll be confident enough to be the smart/funny/good person that she is. Accepting the beauty she’s been blessed with comes with the territory.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not raising a self-absorbed, arrogant, narcissist. However, if she wants to paint her nails, put on some lip gloss and a cute dress I’m cool with that. As long as she knows that multiplication, science and reading comprehension require an equal amount(more) of her attention.
The BYOB message is my response to the unattainable-for-the average-person standards of beauty. It hurts me to read stories of women dying from butt injections and other attempts to look like somebody else. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made.
Are you raising daughters? How are you shaping them to be on #TeamBYOB in our beauty-obsessed world?