Sunday, July 17, 2011
In my daughter's world, she never sees anyone quite like herself. Other children do not have the bronze skin, the long curly tendrils, or the hazel eyes.
Everywhere we go, people remark on how cute she is, how beautiful and precious she is. How much they wish that they had her curly hair, her good skin. We say thank you because I want her to be able to accept compliments with a sense of humility and not arrogance.
On Saturday night, Z got into my makeup. She piled on foundation and lip gloss in shocking amounts. I brought her to me and smoothed out and removed some of the excess and she began to cry. "I want to be pink like YOU, " she screamed in a typical overtired, over dramatic 3 year old meltdown fashion.
I walked her calmly to the bathroom and stood her in front of the mirror as I removed some more of the goop from her face.
"You have beautiful skin. Women pay lots of money to have skin that looks like yours does for free."
"I WANT NEW HAIR!", she screamed in response.
"You have beautiful hair, God gave you the most lovely hair. I prayed everyday that you would have curly hair."
"I want straight hair that does not tangle and knot. I want long straight hair that I can brush by myself."
I handed her my brush and sat us both down on my bed. "Brush my hair", I instructed. "Do you feel the tangles and knots in my hair? My hair is straight and it gets tangles and knots just like yours."
"I WANT NEW EYES", she bellows into my ears.
"Why? Wouldn't the world look just the same if your eyes were blue or green or brown? Your eyes are special because they can be all of those colors. God made you so perfectly that he chose only the best parts for you."
She gave up the fight, eventually, and busied herself brushing her doll's hair (which is straight and knotty and tangled).
I thought that I had years before she really started to notice the difference between herself and her friends. I thought I had time before this particular discussion came along.
For all of the sage advice and esteem building that I did, I have always found flaws within my own body, my own self. I am not nearly as funny as I would like to be, I am a lot heavier than I would like to be, the at-home haircut I gave myself is starting to grow out rather awkwardly, my eyes are too small and rather close together and on and on and on.
My Heavenly Father knit me together in my mother's womb to be the person that I am, I am beautiful because I am made in the image of God, why would I ever doubt my own beauty? Why would I ever allow a world that I am not even a part of decide my beauty ratio?
I pray that my child will always know her beauty inside and out and will never allow society to cast a doubt upon her. I will be here to boost her esteem when she needs it (I just hope that she does not need it).
This week's reading: Psalm 139:13-16
at 10:56 PM