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Compliments on appearance are easy to make and they don’t lead to validating the whole little person. I have twin girls that are about to turn four years old. My sister-in-law shared an important thought with me when our daughters, who are only 6 months apart, were very young.
She said that she didn’t want her daughter to think that fixing her hair/painted fingernails/ jewelry or anything else MADE her beautiful, she wanted her to feel beautiful no matter what.
So I have tried to emphasize that fixing their hair etc.
does not make them beautiful, because they are beautiful no matter what.
“Maya,” I said, crouching down at her level, looking into her eyes, “very nice to meet you.” “Nice to meet you too,” she said, in that trained, polite, talking-to-adults good girl voice. Reply I think a critically important point in the article is that the author restrained herself from making her first comment (and compliment) appearance based.Reply If a 15 year old dresses well; fine, acknowledge it, good for her, she probably had some say in the matter.But when you compliment a 5 year old’s outfit, you are simply complimenting the parents fashion choices.It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. She paused, though, a little shy of me, a stranger. But, I think it’s important because she dresses for her own satisfaction, and not any particular style that I can discern. She has shirts with peace signs on them, and of course ones with horses. It’s just something she occasionally makes an effort to do. That being said, I agree that it shouldn’t be the first or only topic of conversation. ” and follow it up with “What have you learned recently?
As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments. I’m much happier when she makes it over the higher jump on a horse. ” Reply That’s the important thing, I think: complimenting where compliments are due. As Lisa alluded to in the article, the problems come when only one aspect of a personality is ever praised – and also if it’s only praise that is ever received.
Reply Hi Katie, I thought this article was very good and it really makes me think about what we admire in little girls, I think we need to have a balance in how much emphasis we put on how they look. I usually don’t go on about looks to my 2 nieces, but in the future I’m going to be more cunning with steering the conversation.