Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

… or something like that.   Laura did an interesting post on her blog about her daughter and her beauty.  Please go and read it.

I have thought about this a lot since we chatted about this topic a short while back and I have found that I actually have quite a bit to say on this subject.  Most of the mom’s felt the same as Laura did and were trying to focus their pretty daughters on their other good traits.  Trying to downplay their natural beauty because they didn’t want their children to measure their worth by their looks alone.  I do also prescribe to that, I wouldn’t want to be measured by others by my physical beauty alone – Lord knows I would not live up to what is accepted as beautiful in this day and age… But if I am honest society puts a great deal of emphasis on physical beauty and we all feel immense pressure to live up to what it is that society buys into.  And if you think I’m wrong there just look at the multi billion dollar weight loss industry, all the “Banters” out there, the anti aging creams and so on and so forth…

Now that I am a mother to a what is shaping up to be beautiful girl child, I too need to figure out how to teach her the balance of being joyful and proud of both her physical and mental traits.  But this is more than just about Gemma as a girl, why do I feel that we are more concerned about teaching balance to our daughters than we are to our sons?  My son is also really good looking, everyone comments on how handsome/good looking he is so essentially I need to teach both my children to find the value inside themselves that is more than just what is to be found on the outside.

But is allowing them to be proud of how they look that wrong?  It has been scientifically proven that people that are good looking get better reception from others and are at an advantage.  This is not something new, it is an inherently human trait that we gravitate towards those who are more beauteous/good looking.  As a child my parents focused a lot on my non physical traits.  I was told I was beautiful but my mind and my wit were much more appreciated growing up.  I lot of emphasis was (and still is) placed on my weight and control thereof.  As a result I believe that I am more of a “plain jane” and don’t have any natural physical beauty.  If someone tells me I am beautiful or highlights a physicality that attracts them to me, I get uncomfortable and don’t know how to accept that compliment.  I want my kids to to take pride in their appearance.  I want them to believe that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.  That they are gorgeous.  Inside and OUTSIDE.

I don’t want them to take advantage of the fact that they are good looking though.  But I do want them to celebrate it.  In a healthy balanced manner.  I don’t want them to be like I am as an adult incapable of accepting a compliment about their outer beauty because I tried so hard to focus them on their inner goodness only.

I don’t have the answers, but I do know that I am going to try and teach my kids balance in all things as much as I can.

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9 thoughts on “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

  1. I agree with Laura’s post and your post. Both have merit. I tell my kids every single day how gorgeous they are, I say to Hannah, especially, how beautiful she is, how stunning she is, what lovely hair she has, how I love this outfit on her… My wish is that she grows up so comfortable in her own skin that she BELIEVES that she is beautiful, that she is confident and has a high self esteem about herself. Why Hannah? Because too many young girls are growing up with too many insecurities about how they look, how much they weigh, what kind of hair they have, etc.. I know myself, I go on and on about my hair and how I can’t stand my hair, etc, and I have learned to watch myself in front of her because I don’t want her developing issues over something that was passed down from me. Yes, I feed the same positivity to Liam about how he looks, although honestly, I won’t lie, I find most men just comfortable with the way they look that I really think this beauty thing affects us girls more, so I don’t go on and on about it with him as much as I should i guess.. But I always tell him how handsome he is, and he thinks he is the most beautiful boy who ever walked the earth, what is it with guys hey?! lol.
    BUT coupled with the praise of their physical attributes, I always make sure to tell them that it’s not what’s on the outside, but what’s in the inside that counts… and we talk around the fact that being a good person, being kind, loving, gentle, friendly, (and all the fruits of the Holy Spirit), is what really is important. So yes, a balance is important. With the beauty driven society we live in, we’d be doing our kids a disservice if we didn’t teach them to love themselves both inside and out!
    ps: just from my one meeting with you, you have the most expressive eyes, they literally LIGHT UP and pop out when you speak! LOVE!! xx
    pss: longest comment EVER. Sorry!

    • My friend, I think you are onto something here about girls needing more positive re-enforcement about their self image than boys, but that being said I can see with my niece (she’s 12 turning 13) that boys are needing this more and more in this day and age as they too are becoming more aware of their bodies and being victim of bullying and stereotypes of what boys/men are supposed to look like (think David Beckham and the like).

      Again it seems that BALANCE is the true key here… now just to find it!

      PS – thanks for your compliment about my eyes, they are the feature I love best about my own face ;)

      xxx

      Date: Fri, 16 May 2014 07:31:52 +0000 To: se-ri-ous_sam@hotmail.com

  2. I agree with you. There’s nothing wrong with knowing & accepting that you’re beautiful as long as you know it doesn’t/shouldn’t completely define you. Now how are we going to get this across to our gorgeous kids? ;)

  3. I think they key is to find balance. Ava is a beautiful girl but I won’t her to grow up knowing that she is so much MORE than just her pretty face because beauty fades and then where will she find her value? So yes, I tell her all the time how exquisite she is but I also always tell her how clever she is and how funny she is and how she makes me feel because I want her to be well rounded with humility. The balance is raising a confident child and not an arrogant one. I dunno, this parenting this is tough.
    P.S. just wanted to add, I also think that the weigh loss industry had a lot more to do with the ever increasing health problems we’re all experiencing from our modern diet and little to do with vanity, or at least that’s why I started banting, because I want to be healthy, of course looking good go hand in hand with feeling good and I’m feeling bloody fantastic! :-)

    • Absolutely the key is to find the balance. I too tell my kids how gorgeous I think they are but I also play on their inner strengths as well. Balance in EVERYTHING in life I believe it the key. It’s just that sometimes finding that balance is not as easy as it seems.

      xx

      Date: Fri, 16 May 2014 08:22:36 +0000 To: se-ri-ous_sam@hotmail.com

  4. I have no issue with anyone knowing they are beautiful – I suppose my problem comes when they start using that to get their own way because they know they can :)

  5. I was thinking also thinking about the ‘male side’ of this conversation. Jayden is a good looking boy and we tell him all the time! We also tell him that he is very clever, but I am not sure there is a fair balance between the two sides. I also have to put some more thought into how I would create balance…..Great Post Sam.

  6. I think for us its about countering the outside that just remark om beauty, mostly. We are not underplaying or discouraging feeling beautiful, rather focussing on being more than just beautiful. We see it with our 3 kids – A is a very pretty girl and C with his bright blue eyes, white blond hair and attractive smile also gets a lot of attention on his looks. L on the other hand is not that obviously attractive and lets face it the glasses hide his gorgeous green eyes. People would rather remark on his character than looks to start off where the other two will be physical looks. So one even have to find a familybalance in all this!

    • I so hear you Cat. It is really ALL about balance, not easy and sometimes we’ll get it wrong but I hope that I can help my kids be well rounded individuals with a healthy self image.

      xxx

      Date: Mon, 19 May 2014 12:21:34 +0000 To: se-ri-ous_sam@hotmail.com

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