Sad: I googled “babydoll” to find an image to post, thinking of an old-fashioned porcelain angel faced toy. All I found was porn.
My daughter’s beautiful. I’m biased, and she’s more beautiful to me than she is to you even if her hugebluemooneyes beguile you, too. But she’s damn pretty. I get pissed off at myself when words like “princess” and “babydoll” slip out, though. Everyone’s praising her right now for her looks, and assuming this continues, how does this affect a child, especially a girl? I want her to be praised for being strong and intelligent and to know her true value to me has nothing to do with her attractiveness. At the same time, I want her to have a good self-image and celebrate her girlness and beauty.
My parents piled on the pretty praise, and I have a great self-esteem. That’s a fairly wonderful thing, for me to feel beautiful when I’m also quite aware of my deformity. There’s a whole complex whorl of thoughts & emotions there- I am self conscious about my body, but on the whole I’m very comfortable in my strange bones. But Molly doesn’t have a birth defect that needs balanced like that. Is it teaching her the wrong thing if I keep cooing over her cuteness as she ages? Should I dole out two “you’re so smart”s for every “you’re so pretty?” How do I teach her to love herself but also that appearances aren’t the true measure of worth? It’s a funny thing- as an artist I do very much appreciate physical beauty, but I feel like I have a broad, healthy spectrum of what I find beautiful.
Oh, and again with dolls- what do you moms-of-daughters do when your little girl wants to play with a doll who represents unhealthy beauty standards or is sexualized? No Barbies/Bratz/etc? Do you let her play but explain to her, like my aunt did to a six year old me in one of my fondest memories, that no one really looks like that?
Oh, how do I raise a grrl?