Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What A Pretty Girl You .... Aren't?

I read this article on earlier in the week and its had me pondering the past few days. Basically the crux of the post is that the author does not want to compliment her baby nieces looks as she feels society focuses far too much on a woman's appearance and she'd rather build up her nieces other assets instead. But to never tell your niece, or your daughter, that she's pretty? I can't agree with that.

This is my pretty, beautiful, gorgeous daughter...

I understand that we, as the mothers of daughters, want to instill in our girls that they are worth more than just their looks - but to never say ' Hello there gorgeous girl! ' or ' Look at the pretty girl in her pretty dress! '. No, I don't think that's fair either. I think my job as a mum is to build self-confidence in both my children, and part of self-confidence is being comfortable with your body and having a good body image. How is a girl supposed to grow up loving her body, being confident in her appearance, if the people who love her the most won't pay her a compliment?

As a women who suffered from incredibly low self-esteem during her formative years, I can tell you a lot of that anxiety came from not feeling pretty enough.... And that was even WITH being told I was ' Daddy's beautiful girl '. I cannot imagine how much worse that 
feeling would have been had I not heard ' yes darling, you're pretty ' from my parents. Hell, even now, when my husband tells me I'm beautiful or that I look gorgeous in a particular outfit, I find it hard to believe that he could possibly be sincere.

So I will tell Tully that she's pretty. I will continue greeting her in the morning with " Good morning gorgeous girl ", just as Flynn gets a " hey handsome boy ". I will also tell them both that they are smart, funny, sweet, strong and that I love them ' so, so much ' ( as Flynn is want to say ). I make no apologies for that, and I guess only time will tell whether my ' compliments all round " approach will help or hinder my daughter when she tries to make her way in the world.

How about you? Do you hold back the physical compliments from your daughter, or do you acknowledge that her physical attributes are part of her overall make-up as a person?


  1. I just don't understand why women cannot be beautiful AND clever, smart, strong, etc. I don't know why they need to be mutually exclusive.

  2. I could add anything more to this if I tried. You've summed up perfectly how I feel x

  3. Very well said! I grew up with no self confidence, either, due to a number of things but the 2 biggest ones - not ever being told i was pretty/beautiful and seeing my mum lack self confidence.

  4. Yep, yep, yep. Agree, agree, agree!!!