How do you encourage your dd to take more pride in their appearance?
CeliaFate · 01/08/2012 16:11
Dd has taken to wearing a "uniform" of crocs, leggings, baggy t-shirt and scraping her hair back and sticking it up in a severe bun.
She could look so much better and I've bought pretty clothes, hair accessories etc for her which she likes, but never wears. I think she's insecure about her looks (she's very tall and much chunkier than her friends) but I want her to make the most of herself.
How do I encourage her to do this without it sounding like a criticism? (which I guess it is, but I don't mean it to be iyswim?)
mellowcat · 01/08/2012 16:14
Try building her self esteem by being proud of her whatever she looks like. The rest of the world may expect her to look a certain way but surely her mum should see beyond the superficial.
CeliaFate · 01/08/2012 16:17
Of course I do and I am aware it is superficial, but she's hiding behind this uniform of drabness. She's not happy with the way she looks, so she doesn't bother.
I think if she did experiment, she'd see how great she can look and that would boost her self-esteem.
I haven't mentioned anything to her, I just compliment her when she's washed her hair and wears it down, I say how lovely she looks, that top suits you etc.
CMOTDibbler · 01/08/2012 16:19
'making the most of herself' sounds like a yuck Hyacinth Bucket thing to say imo. Let her find her own style, and support her esteem by always telling her she looks great
KateBeckett · 01/08/2012 16:22
:/ I went through a similar phase, and whilst I knew my mum
would have loved me to wear skirts and dresses, she never criticised me either. However, comments about 'making the most of myself' and how I would 'look so much better if..' and even being bought my first bra without my permission or knowledge by a well meaning relative have left me with self confidence issues I'm still trying to shake as an adult now.
Just let her be herself!
DontEatTheVolesKids · 01/08/2012 16:23
My instincts are not to pressure. I was hassled about my appearance by my parents, it never made a difference. I didn't care, & still struggle to care (now middle aged).
Some people are better getting self-esteem in other ways than how we look.
All of us end up wrinkly (we live in a society that rates looking old=very ugly) & most of us end up fat, to boot. Cannot see the point of a culture that worships appearances.
CeliaFate · 01/08/2012 16:23
Why does it sound "yuck" to make the most of yourself? I'm not suggesting she drastically alters the way she looks, or wears make up, or dyes her hair. I just think looking good means you feel good.
Taking pride in your appearance gives you confidence and boosts your self-esteem doesn't it?
KateBeckett · 01/08/2012 16:23
Ps must add that the phase passed and I am now very 'feminine' and love doing my hair an make up etc for fun :)
NettOlympicSuperstar · 01/08/2012 16:27
How old is she?
DD is almost 11, and only in the last year will have a bath without nagging.
She isn't too bothered about clothes now, but I see glimpses of it coming.
I'm just letting her be for now, so long as she is clean. as I know we'll be fighting over the bathroom before long!
ComeonComeon · 01/08/2012 16:27
It is a feminist issue IMO that girls a) should have to doll themselves up but also b) that your DD, who you say has low self-esteem, probably thinks 'what's the point, I'm ugly anyway'
I wa firmly like her as a teen and miserable. I wish my mum had encouraged me by teaching me to look after my skin and hair, get fresh air, andcomplimenr me like you do with her.
IMO it's not buying into girls as beautiful objects so much as giving them tools to cope with the very real fact that they will forevermore be judged on how they look. And she will feel better if she knows she looks good.
CeliaFate · 01/08/2012 16:28
She's nearly 12. Still have to nag her to wash regularly, wash her hair, clean teeth etc.
CeliaFate · 01/08/2012 16:30
Exactly Comeon. I'm not talking about plastering make up on, but things like knowing what clothes suit your shape, washing your hair regularly, "bothering" to do this stuff because you're worth it.
NettOlympicSuperstar · 01/08/2012 16:32
It'll come, I'm sure.
I'd love DD to care more about her appearance, but I think that nagging her will make her feel bad about herself which is the last thing I want to do.
Poor kid has terrible skin, which she is well aware of, and I'm stuck between not wanting to draw attention to it, and letting her know I know, and understand, and will help her as much as I can with it.
I was the same at her age, she has really greasy hair too, that nothing seems to cure, again I had it.
I've seriously considered getting her really subtle highlights to dry it out a bit.
maybenow · 01/08/2012 16:34
I find this really quite depressing but i can't articulate why - i guess because i often wear slobby boyfriend jeans and a tshirt and put my hair in a pony because i've got so many better things to be thinking about and expending energy on.
I know i 'could look better' or 'make more effort' but i don't want to and it's nothing to do with self esteem, i just have other stuff on my mind and am busy with work and sport and other things. i would be hurt if somebody as close to me as my mother said that i should or indicated their approval of me depended on me spending more time choosing outfits.
solidgoldbrass · 01/08/2012 16:34
OK, firstly as long as she is clean and neat (ie no holes, persistent stains or whatever) it's up to her what she looks like.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it's worth asking her how she feels about clothes and her appearance, particularly if this style of dressing has come on suddenly. I don't want to frighten you but sometimes when a young girl starts actively trying to make herself invisible and/or unattractive this can be because something unpleasant has happened, or is happening.
Alternatively, in a bright girl, this might be early-onset feminism, in which case you should be giving her bags of encouragement and support.
Either way, it's up to your DD how she dresses, she's not a doll for you to customize. Talk to her in general about appearance, fashion etc, but listen to her.
ByTheWay1 · 01/08/2012 16:35
I don't believe in telling someone they look great if they so obviously don't .... what is going to happen when they go out into that big wide world of employment - are you going to say you look great if they go out the door to an interview in crocs and leggings?? and if you don't, what is that saying about the crap you would have been peddling with all the other times they wore the same outfit...
It is hard, what I do with my girls (now 10 and 11 - so approaching the independent era) is every time they need new clothes we go girlie shopping - I get to choose some clothes, they get to choose some.... their "style" is VERY different to mine, so both sides get an absolute veto too, usually accompanied by many puking sounds....
We allow whatever they like at home, within reason out and about, and "nice" when we go to relatives or out somewhere that "nice" matters..... they both now know exactly what their dad loves to see them in so play to that when we are out shopping, using their "wiles" on him to get him to spend more money!!!!
Bonsoir · 01/08/2012 16:36
NettOlympicSuperstar - highlights won't "dry out" your DD's greasy hair - she just needs to wash it every morning with a good strong cleansing shampoo. And if her skin is awful, please take her to the GP to get it sorted out.
CeliaFate · 01/08/2012 16:37
Have you tried the oil cleansing method Netto?
It sounds bizarre for greasy skin, but Jojoba oil massaged into the skin and then washed off with a warm flannel is meant to work wonders, unblocking pores and stopping over production of oil.
CeliaFate · 01/08/2012 16:39
maybenow I think you've misunderstood my point. If you feel a bit glum, or lack confidence when you've bathed, washed your hair, put on an outfit you look good in, don't you feel better about yourself?
Of course she can wear what she likes and feels comfortable in, but when you look good you feel good.
NettOlympicSuperstar · 01/08/2012 16:40
She does wash her hair everyday Bonsoir.
I've thought about the GP, but don't want her to feel she has horrid problem skin, I've sort of mentioned it as an option in passing, but am leaving it to her to ask.
I'll see if she'd like to try the oil cleansing method, she's been using products for spotty skin from Boots/Superdrug.
CeliaFate · 01/08/2012 16:42
Netto, the trouble with those products are they're so harsh, they strip the skin so it produces more oil to make up for it. This may help
bigTillyMint · 01/08/2012 16:44
OP, if you are going out (for a meal/to see friends/theatre,etc) does she like to dress up then?
maybenow · 01/08/2012 16:44
CeliaFate - yes to being clean, having a nice hot shower and washing my hair, but no, i don't feel better with uncomfortable 'nice' clothes or make up and certainly not with restrictive things like tights or feminine shoes' or trying to make my hair do something it doesn't want to do.
Some people do like to dress up and that's fine with me, but some people don't, i'd rather wear a clean t-shirt and jeans and a warm snuggly hoodie and converse.
i know a lot of people feel 'better' with a bit of lippie or whatever but many of us don't.
i'd push to keep your DD clean and in clean clothes but not bother at all what styles she chooses unless she says she wants something smarter or more fashionable or it's a social occassion that requires smarter clothes.
DontEatTheVolesKids · 01/08/2012 16:44
I just think looking good means you feel good.
Taking pride in your appearance gives you confidence and boosts your self-esteem doesn't it?
I really want a sociologist to comment on this, but here goes:
Looking good is always relative to someone else, same as being "rich".
Deriving self esteem from how you look is therefore part of a competition, and inherently means a kind of lurking insecurity, that you might not look that good compared to others after all.
it's rather like the UP concept that praise actually creates insecurity in children. But that claim actually has scientific basis to it (read Nurtureshock).
That's what it means when you praise someone's looks, potentially anyway. You are entering then into the competitive situation where self-esteem is based on something externally assessed.
Of course I don't glean self-esteem from how I look, so perhaps I'm just talking theory, not how others find their own reality.
usualsuspect · 01/08/2012 16:46
FWIW , My eldest DD never gave a toss about fashion, make up etc. She always ties her hair up but she was perfectly happy and comfortable in jeans and t.shirts all through her teenage years.
Shes 30 now and has never worn make up ,still dresses in jeans and t shirts always , is happily married and still comfortable with how she looks.
My middle DD on the other hand was slapping on the make up and dying her hair as soon as she could
SecretNutellaMedallist · 01/08/2012 16:46
Is she having any problems with her friends? Or had she had any at school?
Is it a change on personality since starting secondary school? You've mentioned she is bigger than her friends. She may not want to stand out and perhaps feels that she couldn't cope with the attention if she did "make the most of herself"
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