I've run into a lot of people, in the news media, articles, Facebook posts, etc. lately that have been saying you shouldn't tell your daughter she's beautiful. The reasoning behind this, I gather, is there is a fear of a young girl thinking her beauty is the only thing she has to offer the world (i.e., she's smart, funny, athletic too! Compliment her on those things instead!). Let me tell you a little story... I remember the exact moment my body image started to be something I thought about: in first grade, I won a gumball machine, and maaaan was I excited, until some daft little boy told me, "You're gonna get fat if you eat all those gumballs." I didn't even know the concept of "fat" until that little, ahem, cough cough, opened his mouth. If you leave it to the rest of the society to help your daughter figure out what her body image should be, you may not like the results.
I would never tell another mother how to raise their girl in this crazy world, but I will continue to tell my daughter how beautiful she is, and several times a day at that. Why? Because we ARE in a crazy world, and, in case you haven't noticed the infestation of internet trolls late
ly, there are a bunch of mean, cruel people in it. My question is this: if I don't tell her she's beautiful. how is she going to arm herself against the jerks of the universe? It's my job as a mother to arm her with great self-esteem so if she has the misfortune of running into one of these a-holes, she will know they are full of it, taking the sting out of body-shamers, insult-throwers, and passive-aggressive negativity. I can't depend on the rest of the world to make her feel good about herself, and that refers to her physical appearance as well as her smarts, her sense of humor, and her athletic ability (all of which she has in spades already). So, mothers who don't want to tell their daughters how pretty they are, by all means, do it your way, but leave me to do it mine.