Cooking dinner. That’s when it usually happens. I’m not sure why, but that’s when I get bombarded with the heaviest stuff. Is it because I’m facing away? Because I’m busy and they’re trying to lure my attention back to them? This part will probably always be a mystery.
In any case, I was cooking dinner, and the little lady said to me,
Little Lady- “I have a beautiful body.”
I said, “You DO have a beautiful body, Baby… what makes you say that at this particular moment though?”
Little Lady- “I was changing just now, and I like how curvy I am. I like how my waist dips in, and my hips curve out. This undershirt helps my bra fit better. I’m curvy.”
Some time ago, I wrote a story about how pretty she is, and how difficult I have found it to be over the years to help her understand that no matter how much TV and movies and billboards want her to believe that physical beauty is everything… it isn’t. I think she’s got that all figured out.
Now here’s the clincher… while she is a beautiful young woman with a gulp lovely figure, she’s not skeletal skinny. You won’t see her in any Victoria’s Secret ads. You won’t find her picture on any billboards. The entertainment industry wouldn’t consider her to be flawless. I’m happy to report that they can kiss her curvy little butt. She doesn’t care about meeting anyone else’s standards. She loves herself just the way she is. As she should.
This is where I tell you that I don’t have the answer to the question that you’re asking right now… “How?” That’s not what you thought was going to happen here, was it??? As much as I want to gloat and take all the credit for ‘raising her right’, it’s probably only partly that and partly that she’s just a confident and wonderful young lady at heart.
There are a few things I can tell you that will help. I tell her what I believe makes a woman attractive, and very few of those things are ever physical. I tell her that true beauty comes from within, and I mean it when I say it.
I take her shopping, and we stop shopping when it becomes stressful. I steer her away from anything that’s obviously intended to be physically provocative, and I explain to her exactly why as if she’s an adult. I buy her a new ‘just for fun’ dress now and then, and I let her choose how ‘grown up’ the styles of those dresses are. I teach her that her clothing has to speak clearly of self respect, because if she doesn’t respect her own body, no one else will either.
Are you ready for this last one? I tell her she has a beautiful body. That’s right… her Daddy says it right to her. Is that weird? Unusual? Uncommon? Some people might even think creepy? Probably all of the above. Effective? Apparently. And that’s what matters. I also tell her that she has beautiful musical talent, writing skills, ways of seeing the world, etc… so when I tell her that she has a beautiful body, she knows it’s just one of many things I love about her, and that her body is not of major importance in the grand scheme of why I think she’s beautiful all the way through.
Maybe all of that only works for us. Maybe I’m just really lucky and she is how and who she is for reasons that have nothing to do with my parenting. Maybe lots of things. The important thing is that it’s possible, in spite of all of society’s ills, for at least one young woman to love her own body just how it is. At least one.
Cheers from The www.ThreeFiveZero.com Possibilities