I love this article. LOVE IT.
You see, my daughter is blonde. Like, platinum, people-pay-money-for-it blonde. And that’s all anyone notices.
We get asked, “Where did her hair color come from?” (Her father and I are both starkly in the brunette category). Or told, “Blonde hair and blue eyes! You’re in trouble!”
No. We’re not. At least not for that reason.
My daughter is feisty, strong-willed, and fiercely independent. She does what she wants, when she wants.
She’s also kind and thoughtful. She’s inquisitive and doesn’t miss a beat.
She’s loud and silly and loves to bang toys together and dump baskets and play instruments. She treats every surface like a drum.
She loves food of all kinds and demolishes Skyline Chili in record time.
Most importantly, she is more than her hair color (or size, or eye color).
How do I teach her, in a world that values her appearance above all else, that it doesn’t matter? Especially when she is so classically beautiful?
How do I raise my daughter to be more than her looks, to put on a public face that puts her abilities first?
I think all moms struggle with this concept, especially moms of girls. But when your girl is striking at the age of eleven months, and her appearance catches the eye of strangers and friends alike, it becomes so much more.
I don’t want to devalue her appearance; it is, after all, what the world sees first. But, I want to instill in her the idea that it is not what’s important.
So I strive every day to complement her actions; to take note of her accomplishments and struggles; to help connect her identity to her personality.
I know she’s young, but in a world so obsessed with female “beauty”, I have to start now.
So please, don’t call her “pretty”. Call her strong, or resourceful; call her independent or silly; call her clever or funny. But please, recognize her as a person and not just a blonde-haired girl.