Teaching My Daughter The Definition of Beauty

29/11/2016

There were several things in having a girl the second time around that really blew me away.  Like when a friend told me years ago that by the age of 2 she would be dictating what dress she wore and throwing herself on the floor when a pair of shorts or leggings were dusted off from the back of the cupboard.  Or that by the age of 3 she non-stop talked about sparkly, pretty things and the colour pink.  She owns more handbags than me and she actually uses them more than I do.  Her handbag probably has about as much junk as mine does in there.

My daughter was ‘girly’ girl from the moment she came into this world.  I am a firm believer in that.  She had boys toys up until she was 1 due to having an older brother and once she got given a baby and a pram and some things with sparkles on them, her eyes became about 5 sizes larger than they already were.  Not much has changed and now at 4 1/2 she loves sparkles, jewels, Barbies and handbags.

I have never been particularly girly.  I own 6 dresses that come out from time to time. I am a jeans and pants girl and really always have been.  My own mother always looked immaculate.  She was of that generation that you did NOT leave the house without lipstick and as she worked at the school I went to people would actually tell me they knew when my mum was in the corridor because they could smell her!  She always had a spray of perfume and lipstick.  Sorry mum, I do think she feels sorry for me most times I leave the house!my daughter is beauty

I wear makeup, trust me I need makeup most of the time but don’t like wearing lots of it and for a little while my daughter watched me put it on and it didn’t take long before she wanted to join in.  I have no problems with her joining in and have given her a few lipsticks.  You know the horrid pink ones that are always in the multipack?  I let her use the powder, some blush and a little eye shadow and then she always goes nuts on the lipstick.  She then asked me to look and said: “mummy, am I pretty now?”  I stopped.  She is already pretty and I realised that from now on in I have to be aware of what I want to teach her about how she sees herself in the mirror, how they portray how you should look in the media and how she see me looking at myself in the mirror.  She is always watching and learning and I need to her know that she is beautiful inside and out without anything bought at the beauty shop.

So, how do you teach your daughter that she does not need makeup to be beautiful?  What is the definition of beauty?

Beauty is from the inside.  It is about how you hold yourself, the way you feel about yourself and how others see you hold yourself.  Beauty is about looking after yourself on the outside.  From exercising and looking after your body, the food we put inside our bodies and how we look after our exterior such as our skin.  If my daughter doesn’t feel confident in herself then she won’t be able to show the world the beautiful and amazing person she is.

One of the things we talk about is that make up is for fun.  During the time we are putting makeup on it is such a lovely bonding time with her and we always do have fun with it.  We always laugh and I tell her that mummy puts it on just to have a bit of fun.  I have explained that eyeshadow makes your eyes look a bit bigger and the colour of your eyes stand out a bit more but we wear it for something fun to do.

We talk about that we don’t wear makeup all the time.  There are lots of days that I don’t wear it at all or a very small amount so most of the time she sees me put it on is when I am dressing up a bit more and going out.  It is nice that girls feel like a little bit of makeup is special and okay and hopefully later in life she won’t cake it on her face.

I always ask her – “where is it more important that we are beautiful?”

And she always answers me by touching her heart and saying “in here mummy”.

I am big at explaining to my kids that they need to be beautiful on the inside and that no matter how beautiful they are on the outside it doesn’t matter if you have an ugly heart.  I know that neither of my kids will notice the wrinkles creeping into the photos each year or that I didn’t have any mascara on.  I want them to remember mummy was mainly in her gym clothes because she liked to look after herself and was disciplined with her exercise.  That she looked after her skin and moisturised and wore sunscreen to protect our bodies.  I want them to remember the constant nagging about eating all those vegetables on the plate because I have taught them the importance of healthy eating and getting good nutrients into us.

I want them to remember the times we discuss how we treat people, we say sorry if we hurt someone’s feelings.  We stick up for our friends and we care for the people around us.  The times I tell her how much I love her and list the beautiful qualities that she has.  How almost every day I tell them how proud I am of what they have achieved or just simply for who they are as people.  I want her to feel confident in the decisions that she makes as a person and to stand up for what she believes in.  She should be proud of her personal traits and characteristics and use the qualities that she has to feel empowered about who she is as a person.

Beauty is so much more than looking in the mirror.  It’s going to be hard and the magazines and possibly her friends will not make it easy for me to convince her of that through those awful gangly, awkward teenage years but hopefully I can teach her to be proud of herself and confident in herself and it will shine through even in moments of doubt or darkness.

 

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22 Comments

  • Reply Brittany Comeaux 08/12/2016 at 3:54 pm

    I loved this post. I have a two year old very girly girl! She is constantly getting into my makeup and obsessing over what she wears to school, church, even to bed. I am personally obsessed with makeup and I know that she sees this. So as she’s getting older I’m trying to find the best ways to teach a two year old that this is just a fun hobby or interest and not something necessary or defining of our identity.

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 11/12/2016 at 1:21 pm

      It is really hard, isn’t it? But I do agree, that teaching them about it being a hobby is a great idea. 🙂

  • Reply Leslie Ann Jones 30/11/2016 at 4:12 pm

    I love this! In our house, we’ve always told our girls that “Pretty comes from the inside,” but raising girly girls is challenging. We’re constantly fighting against the culture we live in. Keep on doing what you’re doing, and raise that little lady right!

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 30/11/2016 at 10:35 pm

      Thank you! It is hard because you want them to be girly and do that if it feels great, but you are right the fight is almost impossible. Sounds like you are doing a great job too!! xxx

  • Reply amie 30/11/2016 at 3:36 pm

    Such an important topic! You’re right, beauty is so much better than in the mirror. We have learned to treat the word fat like a curse word… never to be said in front of my daughters!

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 30/11/2016 at 10:33 pm

      The media really do make it hard when it comes to what true beauty is and it isn’t always perfect skin, perfect tan and perfect eyes. We certainly want our kids to look after themselves but there is no perfect formula for what that is for everyone! It sure is important xxx

  • Reply carissa garabedian 30/11/2016 at 7:13 am

    So important! I have 2 daughters and I have been known to say ” I’ve gained so much weight”.. ” I feel fat” etc.. when in reality it is not a good message or factual. I have worked hard of late, to be sure my message is more positive and that they gain the skills and confidence to always feel beautiful on the inside ! Thanks for this

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 30/11/2016 at 7:48 am

      Yes it is hard isn’t it thinking they won’t pick up on it. I catch myself looking in the mirror to see what I look like and then seeing my daughter watching me. Hopefully we get both messages across to look after ourselves inside and out! 🙂

  • Reply Rebekah | My Circus, My Monkeys 30/11/2016 at 5:32 am

    This is super important! I have three daughters, a 10 year old (next week!) and twin 3 year olds, and I want them to understand that it’s really what’s inside that matters, both in themselves and other people. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 30/11/2016 at 7:49 am

      Thank you! Hopefully between you and them encouraging each other the message will get across. They will be able to negotiate it together! 🙂

  • Reply Miri 30/11/2016 at 3:11 am

    This is a lovely lesson to teach your children– the relationship between beauty and goodness.

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 30/11/2016 at 7:53 am

      Thank you! And I think something that I have to keep working on and adapting too as we navigate it together 🙂

  • Reply Crystal 30/11/2016 at 3:04 am

    This is a beautiful post. I have been teaching my daughter that she is beautiful in her own way and to be confident in who she is as a person.

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 30/11/2016 at 7:54 am

      Thank you! That’s it. We just want them to be happy with who they are as people and that is hard when the media telling them they should look and be a certain way. 🙂

  • Reply Jehava 30/11/2016 at 2:46 am

    This Is so beautiful! I love the way you explain makeup as well. Great job mama!

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 30/11/2016 at 7:55 am

      Thank you! It is hard to explain why you like to wear makeup to look a little nicer but you are already nice the way you are!! 🙂

  • Reply Lauren 30/11/2016 at 2:00 am

    This is beautiful! My daughter is 3 and loves princess dresses and baby dolls, but she hasn’t been exposed to much make-up. I love how you ask your daughter about beauty in our hearts. Thanks of the inspiration!

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 30/11/2016 at 7:56 am

      My daughter has already asked for a make up box for her Christmas! I think it is great to have it around but they need to know what is more important. Thanks for reading xx

  • Reply Joy @joyadanwrites 29/11/2016 at 3:53 pm

    Oh… that question and her response?! Totally melts me. What a beautiful message for your little girl – it *is* absolutely more important that your beauty is in your heart. Even as a mum of boys I’m conscious of what I show them. Mr 4 was watching me put on make up and asking me why … found it hard to articulate it. It’s amazing the influence we have on their little minds. You’re doing a great job though, and teaching her what’s truly important. High fives mama.

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 29/11/2016 at 10:29 pm

      I agree that it is just as important to teach the boys as well and for them to feel confident in themselves too. Explaining why you wear make up is so tricky! Cause I want to enhance my features to look pretty but don’t listen to that!!! It’s the little things that boggle me with what we influence. Thank you and high fives to you too lovely lady!! xxx

  • Reply The Year Of The Daffodil 29/11/2016 at 11:45 am

    This is beautiful and so important. It is such a responsibility raising kids who can fight against image pressures. I love what you wrote…. ‘I always ask her – “where is it more important that we are beautiful?” And she always answers me
    by touching her heart and saying “in here mummy”. That made me tear up! This is something that is close to my heart also and I find that it is something that I have to keep reminding them but also to continue embracing it myself .

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 29/11/2016 at 10:27 pm

      We all want to be accepted on the outside too and I didn’t realise that she would pick up on my projections of that so early on. You only have to watch the music video’s to worry about what they will think but hopefully what we teach them will stay in there somewhere xxx

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