Today has been a bit of a gold mine in the news. There have been some local stories about shitty parenting, and of course the meteor that exploded in Russia. But I also came across this little article, written by Lisa Bloom on the Huffington Post:
If you can’t be bothered to read it, Ms. Bloom tells the story of how she met a little girl one day and refused to acknowledge how cute she was. Instead, she sat down and discussed books and reading and had an honest to God conversation with the little sprite. Awesome, right?
Right. Except she also states that mentioning a little girl’s appearance to her (when the kid is about 5) will perpetuate a need to wear makeup before she’s 12, start dieting, think she’s fat by age 3 and so on and so forth.
We shouldn’t compliment a girl on being pretty because women should be smart instead.
Pardon the fuck out of me. Did she just call me ugly? Or did she call me stupid? Can’t I be smart and pretty?
What I find absolutely hilarious about article is that right around the corner, there will be countless other ones teaching women “how to dress 10 pounds thinner” or “10 ten minute beauty makeovers” or “how to make him notice you”.
I don’t know. I don’t think girls or women should base their self worth on whether or not they are pretty. But you can’t go completely against human nature. What’s wrong with feeling beautiful?
Here’s the thing: as with everything, when you swing the pendulum too far one way or the other, you end up with something broken on one side. I don’t think ignoring someone’s beauty will force them to work harder at being an intellectual. Should we take away her dolls? Not allow her to dress up Barbies or play “hair salon” or any normal thing that little girls have been doing for just about ever?
And if she’d rather read a book, awesome. Or she likes to do both, even better! But ignoring her appearance all together? I don’t think so.
Because here’s the other thing. One day, she will start to grow up. One day, she will feel like she wants to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. And although relationships based solely on physical attraction are certainly doomed, a woman needs to feel beautiful and desirable to her mate within the relationship. I’m pretty sure I read that in Cosmopolitan once.
I have a great idea. Why don’t we teach our little girls to feel beautiful ALL the time? And then you could even have a conversation about other stuff too. Why don’t we model to them to take pride in their appearance and take care of themselves? And still make them do their fucking homework?
I have an even better idea. Why don’t we stop making everything so complicated? Why do we constantly have to look at every little thing and decide that if we don’t do it perfectly it will damage our children in way A, B, and C. Is it just me, or did anyone else notice that the more we try to fix our children, the more fucked up they seem to be getting? That childhood obesity and mental illness seems to be more and more prevalent?
There is nothing wrong with telling a little girl, or a teenager, or a grown women that they are pretty, Ms. Bloom. Unless, of course, you are lying.
Little girls can see right through you when you’re lying, you know. They’re pretty smart.