Recently, an article titled How to Talk to Little Girls found its way to numerous motherhood blogs. Basically, it says that in a society were 25% of young women would rather win America's Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize, people, when interacting with young girls, should not compliment them on their appearance. Instead, they should focus on more intellectual things...such as the conflicts in the Middle East (aahhh, me and sarcasm!!!).
I would be devastated if Alice would rather impress Tyra Banks instead of heading to Oslo to receive her Nobel Peace Prize! On a more realistic level, I would also be devastated to see a tween Alice wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick to go to school (according to the article, 15% to 18% girls under 12 years old wear makeup regularly).
I won't do an article review. Actually, the article inspired me to write a little something about "parental gray area". How come every aspect of motherhood (and fatherhood) seems to be black or white? Pacifiers, diapers, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, etc., It seems to be 100% good or 100% bad....nothing in between! However, life is full of gray areas and finding the right balance is, to my opinion, key.
We do, as a society, put a lot of emphasis on beauty standards and it obviously has a drastic impact on the way that little girls perceive themselves. However, I don't think that lecturing a passerby who told Alice that she is as cute as a button will have changed the way that my daughter will grow up.
I think that, as a mother, it's my job to make sure that Alice receives the right balance of physical compliments and, as the author wrote, intelligent conversation that respects her brain.
So the next time I meet a little girl, I might ask her what her favorite book is but I might also compliment her on the lovely dress that she is wearing. Even better, I could do both!!!
note: pictures taken at my mom's house this weekend...Alice's first trip to the country!
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one claire day: I think that I should do a cat and dog photo session this week. I don't want them to think that they are not photogenic anymore ;)
anonymous (jRob): It is from...IKEA! http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/70108177
courtney: But it is sssooo much fun to take baby pictures. They are sssooo cute!
ali: Ah, thank you Ali xox
astrid: I also can't wait to see your baby pictures.
tiffany: Wow, thank you so much Tiffany. I hope that you will take A LOT of baby pictures...soon soon soon :)
lila: I get pretty much all of Alice's clothes second hand. I'm always happy when I find something adorable and in perfect condition for 3$ - 7$.
shine little light*: ah ah ah, glad that you like them :)
kate / tinywarbler: I try not to take too many pictures that are humiliating...like her pooping face (oh, wait, I did that already!!!).
joanna goddard: Thank you so much!