Advanced search call my daughter beautiful?

(147 Posts)
tangerino Thu 10-Mar-16 22:42:17

This is something I really struggle with. I'm a feminist. I want my daughter to grow up valuing herself for who she is, not her looks (as I imagine all mothers do, regardless of whether they identify as feminists). I keep reading things which say it's wrong to refer to a girl's looks, what they're wearing etc as it reinforces cultural ideas that this is what's important about them.

And yet...I find it physically impossible not to call my daughter beautiful (when taking to her, I mean). Obviously it's not the only thing I say about her- I also talk to her about her abilities, how hard she's tried with something, kind things she's done, whatever. But I do find that I call her beautiful a huge amount of the time- I just can't help it because I find her overwhelmingly lovely a lot of the time (I don't mean this in a "my daughter's a stunna" way, but rather that I just find her physically lovely as part of loving her, if that makes any sense).

Do other people find this tricky? Do you think it's harmful to girls to say too much positive stuff about their appearance? Am I overthinking it?

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 10-Mar-16 22:43:51

I think you're overthinking it a bit. Particularly if you're also making reference to other positive attributes.

confusedandemployed Thu 10-Mar-16 22:44:33

Personally I think you're overthinking it. But my DD is only 3, so of course she's the most beautiful girl in the world...

FlyingRussianUnicorn Thu 10-Mar-16 22:45:10

Personally I don't think YABU. I wish my parents said it to me more often now/growing up.

We, unfortunately, live in a very vain society where "looks" are important. If I had someone telling me that I was beautiful the way I was growing up I would probably feel a lot more confident in myself. But I do also agree it isn't right to focus on looks- more the abilities of the person.

I'm sure there are people who will disagree though

confusedandemployed Thu 10-Mar-16 22:45:17

And the cleverest, and the funniest, and the get the picture.

EatShitDerek Thu 10-Mar-16 22:45:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lu9months Thu 10-Mar-16 22:45:47

i call all my kids (boys and girls) handsome or beautiful, my mum did the same - i think they hopefully know that i mean they are beautiful in my eyes whatever they look like, are wearing , other people say etc - its not a bad thing to have that affirmed once in a while. but i agree with your dilemma, i feel it too sometimes, and do make sure i stress her strength, character and kindness etc too

theycallmemellojello Thu 10-Mar-16 22:45:53

I do find it a bit odd that you feel a need to call her beautiful. I think it is probably a habit you've got into? Personally I don't feel the need to comment on my son's or nieces' looks. And I do think you're right it's best to focus on achievement etc. women get enough focus on their looks in society as it is. I'd try to resist the urge to comment on her looks tbh.

Fatmomma99 Thu 10-Mar-16 22:46:11

I would also say that I grew up to parents who appreciated many, many things about me, but I thought I was ugly and that they only thought I was beautiful to them and my self esteem is shit.

Tomboyinatutu Thu 10-Mar-16 22:46:41

Well beautiful can mean the way someone looks or the way they are. I constantly call my son's beautiful and I mean it in an inside and out way. I see nothing wrong with it

ExitPursuedByABear Thu 10-Mar-16 22:46:51

No. You are so wrong.

My dd is the most beautiful.


BirthdayBetty Thu 10-Mar-16 22:48:53

It's ok, I tell all my dc's they're beautiful, ds as well as dds.

NoCapes Thu 10-Mar-16 22:49:04

DD(4) is called beautiful constantly by others, it's the first thing anybody says when they meet her and I literally have been stopped in the street for a stranger to tell me she's beautiful.
I've noticed over the past few months she's started to look a little bit uncomfortable with it and she does a fake smile and a bit of an awkward fidget and looks down so I've really upped the "you're so funny/clever/kind etc" comments and have really not commented on her looks, I've tried to change "you look pretty today" to "that dress/top/hairstyle is very pretty/lovely" aswell

But it is hard because she really is very beautiful, and she does this little look every now and again and the words just fall out of my mouth.

I do find it a bit depressing though that she's already uncomfortable and feeling the pressure though.

Muskateersmummy Thu 10-Mar-16 22:49:06

I think in the context of all of the other things you probably tell her she is and praise her for (smart, clever, talented, funny, nutty, fast etc) telling her she's beautiful too isn't an issue.

If she only hears your beautiful, pretty, mummy's princess etc, then yes it's a problem.

theycallmemellojello Thu 10-Mar-16 22:54:10

I've read that it's best to praise kids and especially girls for something they've done (eg well on a maths test) rather than something they are (eg clever). Apparently too many compliments along something they are lines can make them less willing to risk failure.

YippeeTeenager Thu 10-Mar-16 22:54:57

I think it depends how old she is. I avoided telling my younger DD she was pretty, because I hated the whole pretty pink princess bubble that little girls are expected to pirouette in through their early years, but now that she's older and knows that she's strong, funny, clever, kind etc etc, I do tell her quite often that she's beautiful. It's one of her vast array of positive attributes wink

EveOnline2016 Thu 10-Mar-16 22:56:06

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

GratuitousSaxandViolins Thu 10-Mar-16 22:58:03

I don't get why you being a feminist makes you think you can't call your daughter beautiful.

I believe in equality of the sexes and believe I am bringing my DDs up to feel they can do anything they choose when they grow up. I call them beautiful but in no way have they ever thought "oh, that must mean looks is all I have". They have alot of ambition based on their abilities and their self-esteem. You are definitely over thinking this whole thing. And I think you are confused about what a feminist is.

cornishglos Thu 10-Mar-16 22:59:22

I call my son and my daughter beautiful, because to me they are, and I think they need to know that.

Fatmomma99 Thu 10-Mar-16 22:59:37

I agree, Mellojello. And the thing about beauty is that it evolves and changes without the person being able to control it.

But I grew up thinking i was ugly, and that my parents secretly thought I was ugly too (although beautiful to them) and that has held me back in so many ways.

teeththief Thu 10-Mar-16 23:01:26

I always tell my DS and DD if they're looking particularly beautiful/pretty/handsome or that they look good in their chosen outfit. My parents never commented on my looks. In fact they only focused on hiding my faults (hairy legs, acne etc). I want my children to feel better about themselves than I did when I was younger and if that includes complimenting them then so be it.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 10-Mar-16 23:03:12

I call all the children I know 'beauty' (and a large % of the adults, come to think of it). Because they are all beautiful.

Especially my DS who is the most beautiful child ever made.

liquidrevolution Thu 10-Mar-16 23:03:53

Beautiful is different to being merely pretty. Beauty to me includes inner beauty so intelligence and kindness. I wouldnt call many of the public 'faces' we are inundated with in the press beautiful, just pretty or good looking.

I call my DD beautiful every day. I also call her stinky-pants-monkey-face. grin

donajimena Thu 10-Mar-16 23:05:24

I don't know. I call my boys gorgeous all the time because they are! To me.
But I'll never forget a hmm moment when my niece (who was rather umm difficult) telling me that the girls in school were picking on her because they were just jealous that she was sooo pretty (my SIL told her that )
I don't think there is anything good in vanity but your daughter will always be beautiful to you.

LucyBabs Thu 10-Mar-16 23:05:27

I call my ds and dd handsome and beautiful everyday but I also praise them for sharing being kind etc.
I don't see how referring to a girls looks has anything to do with princesses and pink

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