Why is beauty such a big deal?
As an elementary student I was definitely considered an ugly kid. I remember sitting in the cafeteria with my classmates and one of the boys asked, “If there were only 3 people left on earth: you, Elle, and Nadia, who would you marry Elle or Nadia?”
All the boys at the table responded with disgust, “I’d be alone.”
The first kid who was asking all the questions, told them being single was not an option.
After some thought the boys responded they would choose Nadia.
The situation stuck with me, not because it was a unique experience, but because I sometimes heard adults snicker at my appearance as well.
Experiences like these shape how girls see themselves. For, me I developed an attitude similar to India Aire who wrote the song “I am not my hair.” It was while I was still a girl that I had to learn to rely on what I thought about myself and not what others thought of me. I learned that I was beautiful even if it did not match what TV and magazines promoted as beauty.
Now, that I’m an adult; thankfully, I don’t have the same experiences. It’s funny, because I remember a few family members looking at my daughters and saying “Wow, your daughters are so pretty, they don’t look like you did as a kid.”
Recently, I started noticing that my children have questions about beauty and are starting to develop their own opinions of what and who is beautiful. I want them to have healthy self-images and understand how to relate to those who are not what most people would consider beautiful.
9 beautiful lessons I want my girls to learn:
B e healthy
I’m not the world’s most fit mom, but I care about the foods we consume as a family. It’s important for me to teach my daughters how to make healthy choices and exercise regularly. The way I take care of myself is how they will first learn to care for themselves. Eating healthy and exercising can not only improve your physical appearance but also your self-confidence.
E liminate Negativity
It’s important to look in the mirror and like what you see. Our daughters, sisters and nieces are watching us. I love to see women who don’t feel threatened by another woman’s beauty. Avoid speaking negatively about others’ appearance. Like my mother used to say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all”.
A lleviate Stress
Looking worried and overworked isn’t attractive. Avoid stressful people and situations. Get the proper amount of rest and even if you are tired or upset don’t walk around with a frown.
U nderstand beauty is not about looking good to others
Beauty is about how you feel about yourself (on the inside and outside). It’s about how you project that confidence in your daily interactions. Wearing fancy clothes and jewelery won’t matter if your don’t feel pretty on the inside.
T rue beauty comes from within
Your true beauty is in your personality and is reflected in how you treat others. Physical beauty only goes so far, if you are not beautiful on the inside people will notice.
I ncorporate a smile
Smiling is a great way of being friendly to others even when you’re scared to use your words.
F ind positive sources of affirmation
Make friends with people who bring out the best within you and think you are beautiful. Usually, we are well aware of our own flaws, so we don’t need others to remind us. Instead we should make a habit of being kind to others and giving them compliments too.
U nique is not bad
So what if you don’t look like the models on a magazine, even if your features and styles are unique you are beautiful just as you are. Embrace your differences and use it to your advantage.
L ove yourself
You cannot allow others to define what beautiful is for you. Write your own definition and live by it.
When I was writing this post, my daughter told me, “Mom, all kids are beautiful, why did you write that you were an ugly kid. You need to change that. You were never ugly.”
So, for now, I think she’s got it, if only people wore kid-like lenses and thought all people are beautiful, it would change the way we treat each other.