There are a few things I’m not looking forward to dealing with as a parent. Not because I don’t want them to happen…because alll of them are going to happen…but mostly because I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to handle them as a parent.
And let’s just say most of those things revolve around puberty…
but…a few weeks ago, K came to talk to me and asked me a question I was not prepared to hear from her and definitely not prepared to answer. My 10 year old daughter asked me if she was fat and then proceeded to ask me if I thought she was pretty.
I mean…she’ll be 11 in a few short months and she’s already questioning if she’s pretty?!
And it makes sense. Our world is one with ridiculously high standards of beauty. Every picture you see, every magazine cover…plastered with insanely beautiful women. And the kicker…they Photoshop them. Instagram photos? Photoshopped and filters. Snapchat? Filters. And yet I question why someone so young and beautiful would have self-esteem issues.
So there I was, with my daughter staring at me, patiently waiting for an answer to her question. I mean…of course, I immediately told her that she was beautiful and she should never call herself fat. NOT EVER. But she wanted more. Needed more. And she deserved more.
And that’s when I remembered something I had read in Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. There’s a part in the book where her girls are fighting about the word “sexy.” And the response by their mother is absolutely perfect:
I think sexy is a grown-up word to describe a person who’s confident that she is already exactly who she was made to be. A sexy woman knows herself and she likes the way she looks, thinks, and feels. She doesn’t try to change to match anyone else.
What I wanted my daughter to know is that she is beautiful just the way she is. But being beautiful means more than what she looks like. Being beautiful means accepting yourself as you are. It’s not about what you look like on the outside but who you are on the inside.
I read the entire passage in the book to her and I could tell she was thinking about it, wondering what it all meant. And I could see her questioning if she was truly beautiful.
And so, I sat with her and told her the many, many ways she was.
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