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Saturday
Mar072015

When Your 4-Year-Old Says: I don't look beautiful

 

 It happened a few months ago but it's still very fresh in my mind. Reese had finished dressing herself and was examining herself in the mirror. She blurted out, “I don’t look beautiful.” I paused. Stunned. Giving myself a moment to figure out how to respond.

I kneeled down and looked her in the eye and said, “What do you mean? You are beautiful no matter what. On the inside and on the outside.” She responded ever so nonchalantly, “But my clothes aren’t cute. They don’t match. So I’m not beautiful.”

Responding to the logic of my 4 year old daughter, I explained to her that she is beautiful no matter what she wore. I told her that if she felt comfortable in the clothes she chose to wear, if she was happy, and if she felt good, then that is all that mattered. That everyone dresses differently and that’s what makes everyone beautiful in their own way.

I’m still not certain where this all stemmed from. But I don’t want my daughter feeling that the way she dresses defines her beauty. So now, Reese chooses most of her own outfits. And I do my best not to comment even on her most crazy-mismatched-diva-inspired outfits that she’s pulled together.

About a week after this little situation on the drive to school she said, “Mommy, you are beautiful no matter what. Even if you wear your yoga pants.” Thanks sweetheart! I’m glad to know she’s listening during our conversations.

 

Reader Comments (1)

Great post. It seems like the social pressure to be beautiful and fit in starts pretty early--especially for girls. For the past few years I've made a concerted effort not to comment on little girls' clothes, or at least have that not be the first thing I say. It's hard to not tell a sweet little girl that her tutu or headband is adorable, but I try to ask them about what they like or something more substantial instead. It's important that they feel valued for more than just their outfits.

March 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNathalee

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