The War on Beauty: One Mom’s Fight Against Worldly Standards

beautyRecently, I asked my 6-year-old daughter what it meant to be beautiful and her response made me sad. She thought for a moment and said, “Makeup. Earrings. Lipstick.”

I’m not the type of person that is overly involved with my looks. In fact, I have no shame running to the store in sweats and no make up. Most mornings, all that I do is brush my teeth and put on facial moisturizer before bobby pinning some hair back (or if my curls are too crazy, throw it all up in a ponytail). But don’t get me wrong, I do like to wear make up too. There are days when it just feels good to put on some mascara and lipgloss.

I tell my girls that are they are beautiful, and I rarely pick a fight about the clothes they pick out or how they want their hair styled for the day. Needless to say, her response caught me off guard. It made me want to cry, and it made my heart so sad. Although I’m trying so hard to mold and shape my daughters to be amazing young ladies, there are so many other external factors that are attacking my best efforts. Thinking back over the list of shows and movies my daughters have watched, or books that we’ve read as a family, none of them say that beauty is about our appearances. We watch our fair share of Barbie and princesses, but I’m certain those aren’t brainwashing my 6-year-old to think that beauty is all about makeup.

So, why does she think that? I’m honestly at a loss.

The morning that I asked her that one question, my response was the best I could think of, “No, that’s not what it means to be beautiful. True beauty is about wearing a smile, and having kindness in your heart for others.” Hopefully she heard what I said and will memorize those words. It seems like we have a lot to work on in the days, weeks, and years to come. As my girls get bigger and they continue to outgrow the little kid shows and the kids clothing section, I know that it’s only going to be harder and harder on them to not compare their outward beauty to others.

I’m committing myself right now to fight for my daughters. To fight against what people think beauty is, and to teach them all about true beauty. I can no longer sit back and think that being guarded around my girls about topics such as make up and fashion, will shape my daughters to be confident in themselves. It is so very important that they understand that true beauty is what makes a difference. True beauty helps the needy. True beauty loves the broken. True beauty feeds the hungry. True beauty is what makes the world a better place.

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