I am Afraid of My Daughter’s Beauty

The comments started as soon as I started taking her out, which was about two days after I had taken her home. She is so tiny, she is so long, she is so skinny. And she was, all of those things. Her spindly little legs tucked tightly into the sling I wore and I caller her peanut in response to the label on the sling that held her snug against my chest: peanut shell.

Six months later just as many comments, this time in the opposite vein: look at that fat baby, look at those chubby thighs, somebody doesn’t miss a meal. Those chubby thighs had been pretty hard-earned by the both of us. Proof that God was faithful in all the early feeding problems that made me so desperate.

The comments have come back recently, regarding the way my daughter looks. Just three-years-old her hair spills down her back. The hair I worried would never grow has now formed into curls so perfect people want to know if I styled them that way. The sun has painted my daughter’s hair in to a gorgeous rainbow of strawberry-blonde, auburn, and truly red. I can only imagine how much money has been spent by women trying to gain the exact shade of my daughter’s hair.

I pull her hair into a fake bun. The kind where you pull the ponytail through the rubber band not-quite-two-times and it sits on the top of her head and the ends poke out in a set of gorgeous curls that make it look like it was all on purpose.

She is wearing a red dress with tiny white polka-dots all over it. She got to the closet before I could shut it and grabbed the hand-me-down, “This one!” She would not be deterred. This dress is cut in a halter-top, that single strap around her neck makes me nervous. It just looks so grown up. She will not hear that the dress is too big, so I pin the strap behind her neck to make everything sit right.

With the top knot, and the red halter dress I am a few mascara swipes away from Toddlers and Tiaras. It catches me off guard, and it terrifies me. My daughter could grow up to be remarkably beautiful.

Remarkably beautiful, as in, people are likely to have a remark about her beauty, to continue remarking about her body. And I am afraid of how she will handle it. I am certainly afraid of having to handle it myself. I have seen too many women, succumb to the power of what the world had to say about the way that they look.

I have seen women eaten alive by their own beauty. The constant compliments giving way to the expectation of constant compliments. The remarking leading to an understanding that if they were not remarked about they were not worthy of the space they took up, the air they breathed. I don’t want that to happen to my girl. There is just so much life in those lungs. So much more fire than the fire that can be pulled onto the top of her head.

I have seen women chased by their own beauty. Their desire to remain un-remarked on sending them into clothes that are too big, hair that hangs in front of their chiseled face, shoulders caving in on a near-perfect body. I have seen the way they learned that all that attention was somehow their fault, when no one actually taught them that. I don’t want that to happen to my girl either. I don’t want her to hide any of herself. She is simply too exquisite.

All of her is wonderful, but not because it pleases other. She is fearfully and wonderfully made. Of course my daughter is beautiful. May she grow up to rest in that beauty, to identify the beauty in others, to love her locks and be willing to shave them all off on a whim (even when that would make her mother cry). May she know that she is beautiful regardless of remarks. May she continually call out the beauty of this world.

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7 thoughts on “I am Afraid of My Daughter’s Beauty

  1. yesyesyes! My 6 year old is like that…..scares me to death. And I get so annoyed by people only commenting on it….even as much as I want to do the same thing, because dang, she is adorable. And she is a dramatic girl who loves attention and I could see her on stage someday and that terrifies me that she will end up in a career based on looks……..augh. This thing is so hard.

  2. I know. Why is beauty so complicated? Especially for women? You have found one clue for not dwelling on one’s own beauty: look for beauty in others – and in nature and art. Just be part of God’s beauty and not the focus of it.

  3. I have two very beautiful grown daughters. I don’t have an answer to your concern, but I know that they are now beautiful people with beautiful daughters of their own. I tried to love all of the good things in them, including their dancing, their singing, as well as how they treated their classmates and friends. I just know that beautiful little girls can become beautiful grown women.

  4. Oh that we could make our daughters see their true beauty … that their external looks along with their mind and spirit all weave together to make them uniquely beautiful. I want my daughters to look for this woven beauty in the people they get to know.

  5. Start teaching her that her looks don’t make her beautiful, but Jesus makes her beautiful. I think with a foundation like that she will be just fine.

  6. uh huh. Yep. Yeah. Yes.
    I reel and struggle every time someone makes a comment about Abigail or how pretty/cute/darling….she is. Because she is. And I am terrified of how beautiful she will grow up to be and what she will face. I know my own struggles with beauty, my body and not being settled in the skin God has given me. I want to shrink her back to being a tiny baby because the fear of her not being able to grasp what beauty really is, is terrifying.

  7. Nice. I too have a daughter. She is 48 now.
    I can promise you a lifetime of joy and happiness with your daughter. You will have a wonderful time.

    Stephie

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