When I was a young girl, and all the way up through college, I was very insecure. It wasn’t until I started life as a “grown up” that I finally started to feel confident about myself- both on the inside and the outside. Living in the culture that we do, with magazine covers full of photoshopped supermodels and “perfect” women, confidence doesn’t come easy. I was fortunate to grow up in a home where I felt loved and constantly received compliments from my parents. But I still struggled to see my beauty. (It’s something I’m still working on today.)
Now that I have a daughter, it is my mission to make sure that she grows up with as much self-assuredness as possible. I want her to know her worth, to know how special she is and what a blessing she is to the world. There’s been a bit of controversy in recent years over whether or not calling your daughter “beautiful” is damaging. I, for one, disagree with this theory and want to share 5 reasons why you should tell your daughter she is beautiful.
1. It Will Boost Her Confidence
I don’t like my pointy nose, I once had a problem with my small chest, and my lack of “junk in the trunk” makes me feel like less of a woman. So when my parents would compliment my features when I was a young girl, it would definitely lift my spirits. Even during those times when I convinced myself that I was undesirable, my parents’ words of affirmation gave me the boost of confidence that I needed.
Tell your daughter if her hair looks pretty. Let her know what an amazing smile she has. If she hits puberty and becomes acne-ridden and needs braces (um, hello former self), remind her that behind those pimples and mouth full of metal is a gorgeous face and mouth. Sometimes we can’t see our own beauty, and it takes a verbal nudge from others to help us see it.
2. To Redefine The Term “Beautiful”
When we think of the word “beautiful,” we often only think of physical features. But you can help to redefine the word by expressing how beautiful your daughter is in other ways. Intelligence is beautiful. Ambition is beautiful. A compassionate heart and a selfless spirit are beautiful.
Anything that is unique and one-of-a-kind (like your daughter) is beautiful. And beauty comes in all different shapes, sizes, colors, religions and lifestyles. If you explain to your daughter all the ways she is beautiful besides her looks, she’ll start to associate beauty with her entire self.
3. Because If You Don’t, Her Boyfriend Will
I read an article recently that made a good point. If you don’t tell your daughter she’s beautiful, her first boyfriend is going to. And do you really want some guy who is trying to woo your daughter to be the first person who makes her feel good about herself? I sure don’t! I want my daughter to go into her first relationship already strong in self confidence. I don’t want her to give in to temptation because for the first time, she actually feels wanted.
Don’t let a boy who is likely to break your daughter’s heart be the first one to sing her praises. He might be her first love, but you love her unconditionally. If she knows that, she’ll be a stronger, better woman who is less likely to tolerate a guy who treats her poorly. If she knows what she’s worth, she won’t accept anything less than what she deserves.
4. It Will Make Her Feel Good
I remember saying to my parents whenever they would tell me I was beautiful, “You’re just saying that because I’m your daughter.” And even though that’s why I thought they said it, it still made me feel good. Who doesn’t like to feel good? Sometimes all we need to brighten our day is a little reassurance.
Your daughter isn’t always going to tell you when the other girls at school make fun of her. Or when that cute boy in biology class smiled at her. While we hope our children will be transparent with us, they are going to hide things they are embarrassed about or ashamed of. Let your daughter know that no matter how bad things might be at school, she’s always got your heart at home. You never know when the words “you are beautiful” might be just the pick-me up she needs.
5. Because She Is!
Every time I look at my daughter, I think, “My gosh, you are beautiful!” Because she is! I love the dimple in her right cheek. And her tiny little toes. I love her crazy head of hair and her big blue eyes. My daughter is a work of art and I want her to know it! I hope she’ll be able to see how beautiful she is, but I know there will be times she won’t be able to.
It is during those times that I hope she’ll let me stare at her in awe because I can’t take my eyes off of her irresistibly beautiful everything.