During the past two weeks, I've noticed something interesting about girls. It's not as if I didn't already know these things about us, but for some reason, the "beauty" issue just slapped me along side the head. It wasn't a gentle caress either.
A week or so ago, Girl and I flew to Los Angles for my best friend's daughters wedding. I hadn't set foot in CA for so many years, that I am embarrassed to even write how long it had been (20 years!). My friends girls had grown into lovely, talented, amazing young women (see what happens when you don't visit your friends? Their children grow up!).
Standing next to them, my own beautiful, accomplished, talented daughter felt...frumpy.
Yet, she did. She's a quiet, willowy young woman who would rather tackle a complex math problem than party down with a group of people she doesn't know. It's just her way. My poor girl felt out of sync with these lovely ladies; an ugly duckling among the swans.
It wasn't the way the girls treated her. Surly not! They all have their Mama's heart and embraced my Girl with love and kindness. It was something inside her that made her feel as if she somehow didn't measure up.
Simply not true!
All ended well and Girl looked lovely at the wedding, but I'm disturbed by her reaction and when I follow the thought process back to it's original...well, damn if it didn't lead straight back to ME!
So, my own insecurities have bled over into another generation.
Which brings me to pretty girl number two and her new found beauty.
KK is an athlete. She's tough. She's very much a no make-up, hair looks fine, gray t-shirt wearing if you don't like it, don't look at it, kinda girl.
Until Sunday, that is.
What led to this make-over? Not a clue, but suddenly there she was, blond hair curled, eye lids tinted a soft blue and lashes swept with mascara.
And she was lovely. So, so lovely.
And we did what everyone does...we bathed her in praise.
We didn't praise her because she is intellegent or because she's a beast on the Lacrosse field. Nope, we saw a pretty face and complimented her on it.
Palm to face.
For all my bold and brash language concerning beauty being on the INSIDE, I have taught my girls by example and word, that beauty is on the outside. I didn't mean to. I do not want them to feel inferior in a room full of super models. I want them to stand on their own two feet, secure in the knowledge that they are strong, talented, and amazing. I desperately want them to see that they are a powerful and they do not need anyone's approval.
It's a hard subject to teach...when you don't always believe it yourself.
I think I drank too much of the Koolaid when I was growing up. I think we all did and do.
So, I'll keep telling my girls how smart they are. I will remind them that their hearts are what is truly beautiful and I'll try to remember that a pretty dress does not a pretty girl make.
Just don't ask me about this one.... Because she already knows she's all that and a bag of chips.