Why I Don’t Call My Daughter “My Pretty Girl” Anymore!

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I was watching Dr. Phil this morning. The show featured an Anorexic lady whose family were trying to get her help.

To show her what could happen, if she continued down the path she was on. The show had on the mother of another anorexic girl who had taken a seizure and ended up severely brain damaged! Purely because of the effects this dreadful illness had on her body.

It was terrible to see what that mother now had to go through on a daily basis because of it, and, to see a promising young life ruined.

It got me thinking.

From the minute Little Miss OMG was born all the comments about her relate to looks.

“Oh she’s beautiful” “Look at her gorgeous red hair” “She is going to break hearts”

I myself was guilty of this too. I would often pick her up and say “Who’s Daddy’s pretty girl?” Dress her in a new outfit and immediately comment “Look at you in your pretty clothes”

I never did this with her brother. It was always “Who’s Daddy’s big boy” “How’s my little man?” “You’re a superstar” now its just “My little Buddy”

Nothing related to looks at all.

In this modern world women and impressionable young girls have enough to contend with without thinking success is based on looks. Yet there I was Little Miss OMG was not even 6 months old yet and most of the positive comments related to looks.

Even Disney have a lot to answer to in relation to this. Snow White is wanted dead by the evil queen because she is prettier than her. Cinderella is kept as a slave by her “ugly” stepsisters, I’m pretty certain this is because she is prettier than them.

TV shows are the same, the bigger girls are always funny, the best friend, the shoulder to cry on, the nerd. Never the lead, the object of desire.

I want Little Miss OMG to be happy just the way she is. Not worried because she doesn’t look like an airbrushed model in a magazine. Constantly weighing herself, wondering will boys want to go out with her because she doesn’t think she is pretty enough.

So, I don’t be call her “My pretty girl” anymore! She gets compliments from me, Ā just not ones based on looks.

What can we do as parents to fight against advertising, marketing and Hollywood? Who tell us and our daughters that to be happy and successful they must be pretty!

We are still fighting against the three “M’s” (Movies, Magazines and MTV) These are still the biggest influence on girls body image.

With it being January our TV’s are awash with advertisements on weight loss, slimming plans and diets. Many women are making resolutions to lose weight, planning for summer holidays and aspiring to that impossible (for most) perfect bikini body.

Thankfully I’ve a few years before I have to worry a great deal about these messages, but as Little Miss OMG is paying a lot more attention to the world around her. I’m sure she will be taking these messages in soon enough, even if she isn’t aware of them!

photo credit: Charlotte Astrid Body Image. The subjective concept of one’s physical appearance based on self-observation and the reactions of others. via photopin (license)

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12 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Call My Daughter “My Pretty Girl” Anymore!

  1. It’s really difficult isn’t it? As a mother I have to be sooo careful I don’t share my own insecurities with Caitlin and Ieuan. Until you stop and think about it you don’t realise exactly how programmed you’ve been to judge on appearance. Sometimes I look at my nieces pulling duck-faces on their latest selfies and wonder whether we’re fighting a losing battle though. Instagram has a lot to answer for.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes Mrs OMG has terrible body image. I’m hoping that Little Miss OMG doesn’t pick up on it. The worry is though even if we manage to shelter her from it at home to some degree when she gets to school she’s going to get it from her peers who see it all.
      Thanks for commenting

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  2. It’s one of those tough ones where no matter how much you shelter them, girls always end up worrying about their body image. Just keep an eye on her behaviour as she grows up and keep giving her positive comments about her as a person rather than her looks x

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  3. Lovely post. I have definitely changed the language I use around my daughter too. So much emphasis on looks and weight. It’s scary. I’m all about losing the Christmas pounds myself but I am conscious of focusing on positive words like ‘healthy’ and ‘strong’ in her company. And I try to compliment her more for her wit and intelligence than her appearance. Of course sometimes I have to just tell her she is GORGEOUS because she is! Lol.

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  4. I agree with Sophie that just being conscious of it is a start. I tell my daughter that she is funny and smart as well as pretty and I tell my son he is handsome as well as being strong.

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  5. I was always quite glad I had boys so I wouldnt have to be (quite) so careful about this. I look at many young girls I know now and so much of their own self worths seems to be linked up to how they look and getting praise of others for their looks. I think you are doing a brilliant thing for little miss OMG teaching her at a very early age that her worth as a person is based on more than just her looks.
    #wineandboobs (that is such a cool name šŸ˜†)

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  6. I love this post and what you wrote made me think about what i say. I say the same to my little girl yet didnt to my boy. I will certainly think differently now

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  7. I totally get it. My daughter is 10 now and thankfully have played Co-ed Soccer due to our area not having enough females to make enough teams. But you know what…that turned out to be so fantastic for her. She’s realizing that she can compare to the boys (even better than some of them). And they’ve all supported each other and commented on her skill. Making it more equal and not a boy and girl thing. Anyway…great post! Hope this shift can change. #wineandboobs

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  8. This is so true. I too am guilty of this and my little miss has red hair too. I am very conscious that she loves her for who she is. She loves clothes and is very girly even with two brothers. I try to let her pick her own style. It’s harder I think with a girl, when it shouldn’t be as boys have a lot of pressure too, especially these days. I do love this post x

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