Like any other morning, I woke up, gave my daughter her medicine, and took a shower. Then something happened that will forever change the way that I parent my daughter. My daughter walked in with lipstick smeared all over her face. This is not the first time that she has done this, and most likely will not be the last. It was, however, the first time that she insisted that she needed lipstick to be beautiful. She said she was ugly without it. She needed it to be fancy, and she just wanted to be pretty like mommy. I know that parents of little girls are discouraged from telling our daughters that they are beautiful, but rather are supposed to tell them that they are smart, or good at math, or a kind person. I am of the belief that until society stops shoving the importance of physical beauty in our faces, that little girls need to be reminded that they are beautiful, too. So here is my attempt to remind Danger (and myself) what true beauty really and truly is.
I know that you may not think this now, and there most certainly will be days ahead that you don’t think this, but the truth is that you are beautiful. You were wonderfully and thoughtfully put together by God, the maker of this incredible world we live in. The same hands that made the vibrant petals of the sunflower and the delicate wings of the butterfly formed your sweet eyelashes, pouty lips, and round cheeks. You are perfect in your loveliness, and you should only rejoice at the work that God has done in you!
Lipstick, mascara, and blush can enhance your natural beauty to the imperfect worldly standards that society has set for you, but there will never exist a cosmetic product to conceal your character. By allowing yourself to get caught up in the glossy images of magazines that supposedly personify beauty, you neglect to enhance the inner beauty within. You will never find your true spirit, your true self, in the pages of a magazine, and as a result, you will constantly be searching for something that you have already been given.
Let us not get caught up in chasing after the dreams of others, but strive to improve the world by simply being the perfectly imperfect creatures that God, in all His divine wisdom, created us to be. There are more important things in life than being the thinnest girl with the longest hair and most perfectly arched eyebrows. What good is a life wasted on living up to man’s standards when we neglect to live up to our own potential?
I’m sorry that I fail you on a daily basis. I’m sorry that I spend so much time fussing over flyaway strands and blending eyeshadow onto my creases. I’m sorry that I moan and complain over going places and seeing people simply because I am not wearing the right clothes, the right makeup, the right attitude…
And most of all, I am sorry that I have made you feel as if being beautiful is something that can be bought at a convenience store and reapplied throughout the day.
Please forgive my ignorance. People often say that the greatest teachers of our world are actually our own children – and I wholeheartedly agree. You have taught me so much in such a short time, and now I need to be more mindful of the things that I teach you. My actions aside, I beg of you to remember that you are a child of God and there is nothing as beautiful or as wonderful as the person that He has created in you. These words are just as much meant for you as they are for me. We all need a little reminder from time to time. I love you, sweet girl.