As we raise our daughters I hope we challenge them to be a new kind of beautiful.
It’s a tricky thing. I think everyone is beautiful. There is something that makes us each unique. Something that radiates our inner self and gives us reason to lift our chin and carry on.
Last weekend I was so excited to get to take Miss M to the Ballantyne Hotel. It is breathtakingly beautiful. Grandma joined us, which only added to the magic of this celebration of turning ten for my daughter. Grandpa made me pinky swear I’d have Grandma in bed early so she could get up and be ready by 8am when he’s be picking her up. I didn’t know this meant we were waking up at 5:30 in the morning!
I’m not one of fluff. I’m pretty much a jeans and pony tail girl with lip gloss. Sometimes I gussy myself up, but it’s rare enough that when I pull out the make-up bag, one of the kids will typically ask, “where are we going?”
To be fair, it’s so rare that I glam it up that I once attended a Christmas party with my husband and the next day at his work, everyone wanted to know who his “mistress was”.
Normally, it doesn’t phase me. I am confident in who I am and I would rather spend the time it takes to get ready enjoying my children–I’ve learned they grow up too soon. Tonight, as I sat working on my blog and visiting with my now ten year old, she disclosed, “When I grow up I’m going to wear make up everyday. I’m going to wear high heels and fancy clothes and everyone will think I am beautiful.”
I stopped abruptly and said, “You ARE beautiful and you always will be. Those things don’t MAKE you beautiful.”
Suddenly it dawned on me that just because my tag line is “You’re beautiful” (and I mean it) that I was failing my daughter. I tuck her in every night and tell her how much I love her, how courageous she is and how beautiful. Each day I try and point out a quality that makes her unique. Something that sets her a part from her siblings, from me, from her friends.
So, we had this talk.
She wanted to know why my avatar is of me in make up. You know the one. It looks like this:
It was taken the night I celebrated my oldest turning 23. It was a great night and I felt amazing and beautiful as I realized how beautiful my son had grown into a young man.
Miss M and I spoke about that. We looked through the pictures on social media channels of me. They are all moments I celebrated something with someone that I believe is beautiful! Some of them I have more make up on than others.
Then it occurred that there was a lesson here for us both.
I am beautiful.
So? I headed to the bathroom, washed my hair and walked out. I took a deep breath because what I was about to do was going to show me at my worst. I walked into Miss M’s room and said, “The problem with all that beauty judgement is that there’s also a lot of time I look like this; Take my picture.“:
Miss M laughed and told me I looked crazy.
And now, I’m posting that picture of me less than flattering on social media, to show my daughter that I am celebrating HER. I am celebrating our conversation and the beauty that makes me…well, me.
A little bit of crazy is good–it makes me beautiful.
I challenge you to be yourself and be your own kind of beautiful.