My daughter is beautiful. I mean it. Actually, both of my kids are gorgeous but my son is a doppelganger for his dad so this is no surprise. But back to my daughter. She's really beautiful. Yes, I am her mom so of course, I think she is beautiful, but objectively, she really is beautiful.
When people tell me she's lovely, I beam. And then they go and ruin it. "She looks just like you". Whaaaaaaat? Visible cringing. That can't be right. Those are two incongruous statements. (Yes, I used incongruous -- been waiting years to incorporate that word-of-the-day.) How can she be beautiful and look like me?
Why do we do that? Right now my daughter feels beautiful, as she should. How do I not F#&k that up???? Once upon a time, I am sure that I felt beautiful. When did that change? It was so long ago that I can't remember a defining moment.
In a world of "ambush" makeovers, we are taught that we're not good enough. If you watch any daytime TV, you know that the fear of being swarmed by well-meaning fashion/beauty attack dogs is evidently a genuine clear and present danger. I love the Dove real women campaign and yet I listen far more carefully to the advertisements that tell me what I need to "fix" myself.
Commercial : Do you have... insert horrible problem here -- deepening crow's feet, uneven skin tone, limp, lifeless hair, sagging breasts, baby bump, etc. etc.?
Me: Why yes. yes, I do.
Translation: Do you suck and need our over-priced product to suck a little less?
Me: Why yes, yes, I do.
So consciously, I get it. Too ridiculous for words. But somehow I am still magnetically attracted to the makeup aisles in CVS as if it was true North. I hate that and I don't want that for my truly beautiful girl. But how? How do I spare her this?
I guess it starts with not cringing when people say that she looks just like me. I have to fix myself so she doesn't learn that there is anything wrong with looking just like me. So we can both smile and say, "You're right. She looks just like me".
P. S. Happy Birthday, Daddy!