Goodbye, pretty girl… Hello, happy face
My little girl is very pretty, this is true. I promise I’m not biased, it’s an actual fact. She has a smile like sunshine and big bright eyes to match, her profile like an angelic precious moments figurine. Everywhere we go, we are greeted with the standard “oh my goodness, she’s gorgeous!” or “Wow! She’s perfect!”. Sigh.
No. No. No.
That word does not exist in our home.
Recently, I have become very mindful of my words and how I speak to my daughter. For months, every time I would glance at Bella, without thinking I’d exclaim “Hi, pretty girl!”.
Having grown up with severe body dysmorphia and a very poor self image, I could not imagine infecting my daughter with this desperate need to feel “perfect”.
Or pretty. Or gorgeous. Or skinny.
I can’t do it. I won’t do it.
Even before the Internet, I was image obsessed, tearing pages out of fashion magazines, idolizing JLo and her hip-to-ass ratio, Gisele and those legs, anyone who set the standard for what “beauty” was supposed to look like.
As stated in my ten-pound blog post, after thirty-one painstaking years, I’ve come to terms with my beauty (or lack thereof, who cares). I’ve learned to pride myself on my ability to make others happy, my strength as a mommy, my devotion to friends and family, my success as a teacher. These days it means much more to hear, “I love your writing” instead of “I love your hair”.
So I’ve recycled the “Hi, Pretty girl!” and replaced it with “Hi, happy face!”.
HAPPY girls are the prettiest. The prettiest faces become distorted by bad attitudes, poor values and questionable morals.
Your beauty, sweet Bella, does not come from what you look like. It comes from your ability to make others light up with joy.
Your current doll face may flare up with acne in 12-13 years, but don’t worry.
Your beauty, sweet Bella, comes from the happiness you exude.
Those adorable chunky legs could very well stay chunky. It’s ok though.
Your beauty, sweet Bella, comes from your strength and determination in all things that you do.
That big, bright smile, it may be made shy by braces one day… But please, please keep smiling.
Your beauty, sweet Bella, is in the sincerity behind the braces.
Your success in life will come, if you remember to work hard and stay focused.
If you remember that you are more than a pretty face. That your face does not matter.
If you remain confident in your abilities as a human being, a woman, a supported daughter of two loving parents, sweet Bella, you’ve got the golden ticket.
Goodbye pretty girl, hello happy face…