10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Beauty

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I've been having a lot of conversations on looks and fashion with my ten-year-old daughter recently. She is not only at the age where she is beginning to notice these kinds of things, but is also standing on the edge of puberty and interest in boys. It is a very tricky time to say the least. So when a friend suggested the blog prompt 10 Things I Know to Be True, I decided to dedicate this post to her.

My girl, I may not know exactly what shoes to wear with that skirt, but I do hope these words ease your transition through adolescence into the beautiful young woman I can already see you becoming.

To My Daughter on Beauty: 10 Things I Know to Be True

10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Beauty
Credit: rodric.

1) You are much more beautiful than you know

I hear you and your friends worrying about how you all look. I know even as you do this, that you are following in my footsteps and those of every other female that has ever walked this planet. I know I'm your mother and am therefore biased, but trust me on this. You have no need to worry. You are a beautiful girl who will turn into a beautiful woman. And the same goes for your friends and every other girl on this great planet.

2) An outfit is only as cute as it makes you feel

You love putting together an outfit and always have. It is some expression of your artsy nature. But as you move into your teenage years and begin to worry about what everyone else is wearing, know this. No matter how cute that dress or those boots look, if you do not feel comfortable while wearing them, you might as well go ahead and change outfits. Really, I'd rather be late than have you worry about how your shirt is sliding awkwardly around all day or have aching feet. There are too many important things to think about in life. Wear what makes you feel confident and happy. Period.

3) Dress for yourself and no one else.

It might feel really tempting in future years to wear something you think will impress that cute crush. It's even more tempting to wear something because you think it will make you look better in the eyes of your friends. However, anyone who thinks less of you based on what brand you wear or, God forbid, how sexy you dress is not worth your company. Anyone who truly loves you will value you holding true to your own self expression and values.

4) You are not fat.

Let's just go ahead and get this out of the way. Your body will change and grow and get thick and curvy in places. But you are not fat. You are strong and athletic, so much more so than I was at your age. Treasure those thighs for they enabled you to run faster than your brother and a whole den of cub scouts last year. Love your arms for they move in ways that are giving and kind. And that round face of yours lights up a room when you smile. Your body is a gift. Learn to love it for how it allows you to move through this world, not for how it measures up to some twisted image on a magazine.

5) Skinny does not equal happy.

Speaking of the "f" and "s" words, skinny does not necessarily equal happy. The times in my life when I've been my most thin have also been times when I've been the most unhappy. Being thin does not bring you joy. However, being quite overweight wasn't that much fun either as I often felt sluggish and ill. In the end, the numbers on the scale, high or low, matter much less than how you feel. So let's all shoot for healthy and well-adjusted and call it a day.

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