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To feel annoyed to hear kids labelled as "pretty" or "ugly"

(18 Posts)
IndigoMoonFlower Wed 07-Feb-18 10:10:36

Something I grew up with was being labelled as ugly by my parents. I remember them telling me (after she had gone to bed) that my sis was ugly and pointing out a crook in her nose and I remember being hurt that they could be so awful.
I have an issue with being judged on your appearance because as an adult and a kid, I was made to feel the ugly one. As a grown up, all I used to hear (when I was in contact with parents) was "oh isn't she pretty" and "oh isnt she slim" about my sis. TBH I am overweight, but I'm almost worried to be slim because of the attention it will get me. In all of my life (Im in my 40's) I can't EVER remember either parent telling me I was ever pretty, not even when I got married. They just kind of looked at me and made no comment. I do truly STILL feel like the ugly one, but I only just realised it's a sign of an adult objectifying a child. Last time dad was here he was talking about a child being "pretty" and it reminded me of it all :/ I guess I probably need therapy, right??

Dancingfairy Wed 07-Feb-18 10:14:31

No one is going to stop doing this. I even noticed a top that said pretty little princess on it the other day. I know how you feel though, my mum refers to my sister as "the slim and pretty one".

IndigoMoonFlower Wed 07-Feb-18 10:33:18

@dancingfairy I'm sorry to hear this. It's so horrible of your Mum and you deserve better. Looking back at photos of me when I was younger, I think I WAS pretty. I think I just never smiled. Everyone looks pretty when they smile, right? Even now, I think there is a pretty person inside me, under all the blubber...

Tarraleaha Wed 07-Feb-18 10:39:09

I think the role of any parent is to boost confidence in their children, but not turn them into spoil brat. It's awful to call one of your children ugly.

Once they are no longer babies, it's still natural to call them pretty or gorgeous when they are proudly wearing one of their favorite outfit or something like that. Otherwise it's a weird thing to say.

specialsubject Wed 07-Feb-18 11:11:34

While it isn't the major issue in the circumstances, I note that the tribute to every death of a female under 50 or so begins with 'she was beautiful'. It seems that for some, females are always defined by appearance.

thecatsthecats Wed 07-Feb-18 11:21:03

My mum never made positive or negative comments about our 'prettiness' (PA comments about my sister getting underweight and myself becoming overweight though, I suppose even handedly), but my mum was always wildly critical of a few famous women's looks (Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Ehle). It did nothing but annoy me, but my sister was badly affected by it.

It doesn't even need to be comments about the child in my opinion. It makes me uncomfortable when people bash women's looks. There's lots of different versions of attractive, which aren't tied to the standard model-symmetry. There's a weird sense of entitlement that someone's looks - a highly personal thing - are a relevant thing to comment on.

HuskyMcClusky Wed 07-Feb-18 11:26:42

YANBU.

Labelling children as pretty or ugly is horrible. Let them be who they are. Anyway, beauty is in the eye of the beholder; plus, even on a conventional scale, nobody’s beauty is ‘static’. I know plenty of people who got much more attractive as they grew up, and plenty whose looks faded quickly.

It doesn’t matter. We should teach children to focus on what’s inside.

paranoidpammywhammy2 Wed 07-Feb-18 11:45:20

My child was very pretty as a baby; now people no longer make as much a fuss over her but to me she is still just as beautiful and deserves just as much attention. I find the comments highly offensive.

I'm the 'ugly' one in my family - I'm not bad looking, I'm just not as attractive as my siblings. Comments have been made about how much my daughter initially resembled my more attractive brother and sister and not me. Unlucky for her - my daughter is now growing up to look more like her ugly mother!

There also seems to be the assumption that pretty=stupid.

carefreeeee Wed 07-Feb-18 12:13:50

Parents would do better to praise their children for specific actions and avoid labelling them as clever/pretty/kind etc.

Saying 'you look nice today' when your child is going to be in a school concert or 'that was kind' when they share something or 'well done for trying so hard at school' when they get awarded a prize is nice. Being labelled as something is not nice, even when it might be a good thing.

Beauty is more about personality anyway, as you grow up. It's not the best looking people who go furthest in life or have the most friends or end up in good relationships. It tends to be those of average looks who have other skills and attributes.

Tarraleaha Wed 07-Feb-18 12:28:51

Attractive people tend to be more successful in life, privately or professionally. It's also true that some very beautiful and attractive people are terribly insecure, and do not see themselves as beautiful.

Parents should see their children as a package, boost confidence and encourage them to see all their positive. Labeling them is so wrong.
Some kids are bullied because they look different, others because they are too beautiful and the bullies are jealous.

Women especially should be careful how they talk about themselves: ugly, too fat because their mini-me children will inherit a lot of insecurities if they are surrounded by some much negativity

WellThisIsShit Wed 07-Feb-18 13:37:11

You see, I do think it is a major issue, and I think that somehow historically we have minimised this. It’s not just hurting an ugly child’s feelings as they grow up (!)...

It’s the objectification of well, mainly women. It’s the superficiality of imbuing some physical forms with superiority not just of aesthetics but of everything else too. It’s the innate irrationality of rewarding for a purely visual and particular genetic formulation of cells.

It does lasting harm to self esteem and the development of those people who have the ill chance of growing up with humans who decide to label them as ugly.

It also does harm to our society as a whole.

HuskyMcClusky Wed 07-Feb-18 13:38:52

I completely agree, Well.

JoeyMaynardssolidlump Wed 07-Feb-18 13:41:36

Your parents sound horrible op.

I told all my kids they were fantastic, pretty, clever, handsome, wonderful, kind etc on s regular basis. That’s what loving parents do

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Wed 07-Feb-18 13:45:37

I think all three of my kids are gorgeous (Mum's bias!), however DD gets loads of comments from others about it on my FB, on the bus, in person, etc. It does make me feel a little uncomfortable. She's not arrogant, but I fear she might think it's more important than it is. My other children are boys, and don't get this, I wonder if it's a girl thing? Or perhaps they are not judged as beautiful by the general public grin

bridgetoc Wed 07-Feb-18 13:52:18

I would never call anyone ugly. How rude.......

However, both of my boys are beautiful, and I have no problem telling them so.

IndigoMoonFlower Wed 07-Feb-18 14:25:40

Great to see so many of you feel the same way I do. I brought up my kids with love too, because its the right thing, and I know what its like to not feel it.

JoeyMaynardssolidlump Wed 07-Feb-18 14:38:49

They don’t deserve you indigo bollocks to them flowers

Mitel Wed 07-Feb-18 16:25:03

Parents should obviously tell their children they are pretty/handsome etc, and it is bad not to do so, and so clearly your parents didn't do right by you there.

However, objectively obviously some children are uglier and some are prettier. That is just the way things are. It doesn't need to be pointed out though or referred to so much. The uglier children may be better at school, more athletic etc, and so they will have their skills instead of looks, and those attributes should hopefully be praised in the same way.

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