Being a parent, you sit and look at your children and think “Wow they are just beautiful, cute little people!” But what happens when they grow up to, let’s say the ages of between 7 to 18 years old?
Even though we tell our children they are beautiful and that we are proud of who they are, what happens when they start believing otherwise and try changing themselves to how society determines a beautiful person? For example in music videos, movies, modelling, front page magazines etc.
There is a high expectation of average people to look how society deems ‘beautiful’ where people are pushed into the idea that they need to buy the most expensive clothes, hairstyles, and makeup in order to be accepted. And if you look too different or you don’t wear high end brands or plaster yourself in make-up, you are not considered beautiful and can be cast out, or even bullied for it, especially in school!
You see even as an adult I don’t feel beautiful because of what society considers as ‘beautiful’. I don’t have time to do my makeup every day. I wear jeans and a t-shirt and my hair, well it’s washed and brushed and I just leave it down. I’m too busy looking after the children and my home to spend hours dressing myself up.
Don’t get me wrong I’d love to have time to do my makeup everyday and wear stylish clothes, but I just don’t have the time or money to do that. I’m still me and I’m proud of who I am and I think we all should be, whether we are skinny, curvy, in too much of a rush to do your hair properly so settle with a Mum bun, or just rocking your natural beauty.
The reason I brought this topic up is because as I was walking the children to school this morning, I noticed Faith had a hold of my shaver last night and shaved half of her eyebrows off on each eye.
I pulled her up about it and challenged her.
“What were you thinking? It’s dangerous! You know better than to mess with Mummy’s shavers!”
“I just wanted to look pretty. I don’t like my eyebrows because they are really bushy.”
I looked at her and said back,
“You are pretty. You don’t need makeup or need to shave your eyebrows. You are perfect just the way you are!”
Faith has been saying things like this alot recently. I’m not sure whether it’s what people have been saying to her in school, but I think it’s awful for her to feel that way at the age of 7. She doesn’t like how she looks and as her Mother it breaks my heart.
Some of the things she’s said she doesn’t like about herself include
- Her height – she doesn’t like being small. She’s the shortest one in her class – she gets that from her Mummy.
- She doesn’t like how skinny she is. That’s also a trait from my side of the family.
- She’s also a very hairy little girl which she hates the most. To me she is Faith and everything she hates about herself makes her unique.
How can we change our child’s mindset to understand that just being themselves makes them beautiful, unlike advertisements showing them what ‘beauty’ is supposed to look like? These include false eyelashes, false nails, tattooed eyebrows, shaped eyebrows and more.
I not bashing people who use these products – they are in their own right to change their look and do things that make them feel beautiful, because who doesn’t want to look their best?
I just worry about our children and how much pressure they are under to fit in with the ever changing society – to be thinner, wear attractive clothing, and pushed to wear make up.
All we can do as parents is tell our children they are beautiful by just being themselves and remind them that even though looking good is ok, what’s most important is what’s on the inside and that’s what makes them beautiful!
I’m hoping after having a talk with Faith this morning she will realise that she’s pretty just the way she is. We just have to wait for her eyebrows to grow back. It’s a good job however that she has a fringe that hides it well.
I’d love to hear if any of you have had any similar conversations with your children about how they look or whether they have done something they shouldn’t have done to make themselves fit in.
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