I briefly thought of myself as beautiful, for a few months when I was 14. I didn't try to change a thing about myself for at least 6 months, which is certainly some sort of record for me.
I really like this blog post that a friend linked to about why we need to tell our (daughters) that we are beautiful. It goes right along with Jules' recent post about loving our bodies just as they are, because our bodies have done some amazing things. Beautiful is certainly how I look at pictures of my mom and my grandma at my age, so me thinking otherwise is probably wrong.
So I'll have to make it a project to tell the kid that I'm beautiful and to tell other little ones that their moms are beautiful too, and I'd even venture so far as to say that complimenting other moms on their beauty is important because we forget.
By telling the wee ones all the time how beautiful they are, we are establishing that youth=beauty. As they grow, we stop telling children how beautiful they are, but not because they are less beautiful. We stop because they get self-conscious and don't want adults telling them anything about themselves AND YET they get all nervous about suddenly not hearing what they've always heard about themselves (silly adolescents with frontal lobes the size of raisins, pretending to dislike things they actually need a lot of). Do you hear anyone call a woman in her 30s beautiful without her having made an effort to look beautiful (vast make-up and fancy outfit)? Why on earth not?
So let's fix this, one child at a time and one mom at a time. Let's speak out loud what is true: moms are beautiful just as much as kids and just as much as childless young women. Beauty changes when we age, yes, but it remains. Let's all make a point to tell the beautiful women in our lives that they are beautiful just as they are.