When I Say You’re Beautiful – What I Want My Daughters to Know About Beauty
A version of this post appeared originally on Grumbling Grace.
As a girl mom to two little girls, people stop me in public to address my toddler and my baby. “Oh aren’t you BEAUTIFUL!” is the refrain that is already entering their minds and hearts. I know there’s been a lot of kickback against how to address little girls so sometimes it’s hard to navigate what is harmful and what is helpful, but they are beautiful, inside AND out.
I’m the kind of gal who loves clothes and accessories and I think style is fun. I feel that we humans (and especially we women), are made to express something in all we do, say and put forward. Style to me is the confidence that emanates when a woman feels put together. When she is at ease with her appearance and she relaxes into that feeling of beauty. When all the intrinsic value is allowed to seep out to her physical self too. Sometimes, a great outfit, the right shoes, or a fabulous hair cut allows us women to relax into the deeper truth of that underlying beauty.
I’m not talking about outward appearance defining our worth. I’m talking about being comfortable and pleased with the outward portion of our human peels so we can get on with all the cool stuff going on underneath.
As a high school teacher, I try to look put-together in a modest and unique way in the classroom. I want to model confidence in my manner, my behavior AND my outward appearance because kids are always watching and our manner often speaks louder than our words.
So how do I balance the outward appearance with the inner heart truths of value and belonging in Christ to my kids?
Lately Emily, my toddler, is absolutely head over heels for princesses. They captivate her. The dresses, the hair, the shoes. I can’t even believe how innately ingrained her desire is to be lovely. You can go on about gender profiling and how to talk to little girls but at the end of the day, that desire is there. To be beautiful.
I want both my kids to grow up seeing and knowing that it is okay to want to LOOK beautiful. It’s fun. It can be silly. It’s window dressing and they get to choose what that looks like (within reason), but what I really want to model for them is a solid deeper truth. That they ARE beautiful. That the women who surround them are beautiful. Not because they dress a certain way or are a certain age or follow certain rules, but because of who they intrinsically ARE.
Ann Voskamp sums it up here:
What is beautiful is women who know more than how to do their hair, women who know how to do hard and holy things. What is beautiful is women who use their hands to help humanity up. … You don’t have to look, think, act, talk or be like the mass-produced to belong to the sisterhood in massively significant ways.
Check out her whole post here.
That is what I want to model for my daughters. That I take pleasure in the beauty around me, in the amazing dessert, those adorable shoes and in the fun hair cut… but, that none of these outer fixings define our worth. I want them to understand that beauty is grown much deeper in our hearts before it permeates the outer appearance. It appears in kindness and generosity, in laugh lines and attentive eyes, and wobbly arms held out wide.
Abbie’s a child of God saved by His grace. She’s also a wife, mama and high school French and English teacher. In this season at home with her two littles, she’s blogging about faith, fails and mom life from Saskatoon, Canada. She’s looking for the humor amid the Huggies and wisdom in the whining, but so far hasn’t developed any love for the laundry. Join the community of encouraging mamas over at her blog Grumbling Grace and on Facebook.
Did you miss the previous post in this series? Click here!