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One daughter is far prettier than the other

(111 Posts)
amiabitch Mon 05-Sep-16 20:17:54

I know I sound like a terrible mother but bare with me.

One daughter is stunning. Since the day she was born, people have gone out of their way to tell me she is beautiful. She is regularly referred to as 'the pretty blond one'.

I have another daughter who is adorable, cheeky and can frankly get away with murder with her smile. I am always told how 'unusual' she looks and how adorable she is. But she is not ' stunning' like my other daughter. She is however undoubtably beautiful.

I regularly feel bad about this. My 'stunning' daughter has behavioural and emotional difficulties. My other daughter is outgoing and does not struggle emotionally.

I love my girls. They are both beautiful and extraordinary to me in their different ways. My worry is that one daughter will suffer poor self esteem due to her sisters physical attributes as they go through school etc. I have always been very plain and told I am ugly compared to family members and I still have no self esteem because of this. Please tell me I am stupid.

I genuinely worry about this. I have never told my girls that they are beautiful simply because of their looks. I always say they are kind and smart and funny which makes them the most beautiful girls in the world. But as they get older other people's opinions will mean more to them. Just because I allowed these things to upset me doesn't mean they will right?!

Please tell me your experiences/ thoughts?

UmbongoUnchained Mon 05-Sep-16 20:19:59

Well, I am far more beautiful than my sister so i can see what you mean wink

RhiWrites Mon 05-Sep-16 20:20:03

It's sounds as though it's the beautiful one who's struggling though. Maybe she feels she's only a pretty face. Your other daughter sounds well balanced.

JenLindleyShitMom Mon 05-Sep-16 20:22:58

My worry is that one daughter will suffer poor self esteem due to her sisters physical attributes

Who will be providing her with the message that physical beauty is more valuable than personality, character, and being a bloody good person?

Stevefromstevenage Mon 05-Sep-16 20:23:10

Goodness you are storing an enormous amount of your children's self worth in their beauty.

Fwiw one of my DDs gets called stunning all the time and it has never been said about the other DD2 who is still stunning to me. My dd2 has a lot of fantastic qualities as as does her sister. It has never, ever occurred to me to be remotely worried about the less commented on DD. She is amazing in her own right.

WomensNet Mon 05-Sep-16 20:24:08

Meh..So long as you do not say this to your girls which I don't think you would. Correct people when ever they say it in DC hearing, 'they are both beautiful!', thank you. They'll get the message.

Arfarfanarf Mon 05-Sep-16 20:24:18

I won't tell you you are stupid. That would be completely pointless and unhelpful to you.

I will tell you that this is as much of an issue as you want to make it.

Praise your children equally for their character and achievements. The world may be shallow but your household need not be.

You can't control how the world sees your daughters. It's a crappy world we live in and yes, to some people, looks matter. However, to nice people, they don't and what you do is teach your daughters to care about nice and not shallow people.

And yes, they probably will be affected by societies preferences and expectations. Most young people are. You just have to be there to balance it out and hope you did a good enough job.

And never ever compare them. Don't classify them yourself as the pretty one and the cheeky one.

MouseholeCat Mon 05-Sep-16 20:25:57

Swings and roundabouts- my sister is stunning, I'm average. However, I was extremely academic and have a successful career. We're both rounded and happy adults. Our parents loved us the same, and ensured we received praise and compliments for many aspects of our persons. Do the same for your daughters and ensure they become the best versions of themselves.

winewolfhowls Mon 05-Sep-16 20:26:04

Well I'm pretty ugly, but happy.grin Don't sweat the small stuff.

DerekSprechenZeDick Mon 05-Sep-16 20:27:18

My siblings seem OK knowing they are ugly and I'm the best looking one.

manyathingyouknow Mon 05-Sep-16 20:27:27

What age are you girls?

I think you've been smart to focus on the fact that beauty has many facets and looks are only a part of it

Queenbean Mon 05-Sep-16 20:28:46

How old are they?

Because if they are young, I can guarantee that the uglier one will end up being far more beautiful when they are older.

There's a lesson for both of them there

EssentialHummus Mon 05-Sep-16 20:29:28

I have always been very plain and told I am ugly compared to family members and I still have no self esteem because of this.

This is the crux of it. Don't criticise your daughters' looks - I promise they'll remember a throwaway remark you make, years down the line. It's in your power to make them feel good about themselves as people, looks, difficulties and all.

Aged 16 or so, my mum said something like, "You're very beautiful, but when you're older we'll have to do something about your nose." You can imagine which part of that sentence stays with me. (My nose, as it turns out, is just fine - it was my mother who was the problem smile.)

LeaveMyWingsBehindMe Mon 05-Sep-16 20:29:57

How old are they? Super cute and pretty looking children don't always make beautiful adults. Sometimes quirky looking girls who lack obvious cuteness or stereotypical prettiness can blossom into the most beautiful women of all.

It might all change yet.

RichardBucket Mon 05-Sep-16 20:31:19

My brother is much more physically attractive than me, but I did much better academically. Sure, I sometimes wish I was beautiful, but I know I wouldn't trade if it was an option. I think it was much harder on his self-esteem to be unfavourably compared to his (younger) sister at school than it was on mine to know I didn't get the attractive genes.

Both of your girls will need building up in their own ways, but I wouldn't assume it's your non-"stunning" one who will need the most confidence building.

strangespot Mon 05-Sep-16 20:32:10

Op of course in this shallow world we live in your right to be worried about this, You sound like your doing the right thing however in that you praise other attributes. Its all you can do really unless its friends or relatives who go on about beauty in which case, tell them you don't want your girls to focus on their looks.

sizeofalentil Mon 05-Sep-16 20:32:15

I was the ugly sister in my family.

I wouldn't have minded if my dad hadn't made a point of rubbing it in all the time - "I've only got one beautiful daughter", "Ds1 is the smart one DD2 is the beautiful one, Ds2 is the funny one and you are the eldest one" - and just things like that. Constantly.

If you treat them equally and bolster each of their confidence when they need it, it won't be a really big deal.

And remember - DD1 will probably be jealous of loads of DD2's attributes too.

amiabitch Mon 05-Sep-16 20:33:16

My 'pretty' daughter does struggle and I tell family members especially, off when they tell her she is beautiful, without stating it is because she is kind or smart. I do not believe that praising physical attributes is correct and it is not encouraged. I do however tell them both constantly how beautiful they are to me, listing all the ways they are special and talented.

Please don't think that this is how I or my dh act toward them. My dh thinks I'm mad! It is very clearly my own poor self esteem, I just can't help worrying that one daughter will not feel the need to develop her talents because of her obvious beauty and my other daughter feel bad because of others opinion.

I might be being over protective! And projecting my own self worth, but they do not see or hear these opinions

MardyGrave Mon 05-Sep-16 20:34:06

How old are they? A beautiful toddler/young child doesn't always follow a straight path, where some awkward looking children blossom. Labelling them as one or the other now could backfire.

I'd be more concerned about your daughter struggling emotionally.

Sgoinneal Mon 05-Sep-16 20:35:01

Agree about the comments saying it might not pan out like this. (William and Harry, anyone?!)

I have two cousins who are sisters and until they were in their teens one was actually stopped in the street all the time by people admiring her, the other was the 'personality'. Interesting that now it's the latter who turns every head, she is stunning physically and has her lovely nature. Her sister didn't grow into a gorgeous adult and felt really upset that the compliments stopped, it's damaged her mental health very badly.

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 05-Sep-16 20:35:02

You're transferring your low self esteem (from being compared unfavourably to family) to them.
But whist one may be conventionally pretty you won't be putting your other dd down.
My dd has a pretty blonde girly girl friend who is the Disney princess type and I've had to bolster dd's confidence over the years.

HeddaLettuce Mon 05-Sep-16 20:35:16

My worry is that one daughter will suffer poor self esteem due to her sisters physical attributes as they go through school etc

Well she will if you tell everyone (and her) that her sister is far prettier than her.
I'm surprised any mother actually evaluates their young childrens attractiveness in such terms. I couldn't pick the "best looking" of my children with a gun to my head, they are all beautiful.

amiabitch Mon 05-Sep-16 20:35:25

Queenbean. I believe your right. There is just something compelling about my other daughter. My 'stunning' daughter has a real princess Diana quality, looking through her eyelashes etc and they are young. Just starting school

amiabitch Mon 05-Sep-16 20:38:28

Essentialhummus. I heard these types of comments when I was younger, I would never dream of making comment and am fast to shut someone down when comparisons are made. It makes me feel like a child again and ensure those making comments are put firmly in their place

LadyMoth Mon 05-Sep-16 20:39:30

It sounds to me like you're handling it really well OP. I think you're sensitive about it because of your own experiences, but what you're doing will really help it not to matter.

I was Plain (plus swotty, geeky and spotty!) Jane at school while my sister was the babe who all the boys fancied. I actually had a boyfriend of my own (when I was 16) tell me she was better-looking shock

But it's all evened out, I'm happy with who I am, have a great job, never had any trouble pulling etc. I do think there's pressure on girls and they are made to feel it matters, but in practice it doesn't matter as much as we're all led to believe.

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