The Standard of Beauty

Grace's lady

This week my 8 year old labored over a drawing for what seemed like an eternity. She draws a lot but this drawing seemed to be more serious. She was putting her heart into every single detail.

When it started it was a beautiful pair of eyes and it became clear she was drawing a lady. I remember this age fondly. The age when you begin to draw detailed people and faces instead of stick figures with a few of their limbs missing. And growing up as a girl, one of my favorite things to draw were fancy ladies.

She proudly showed me her drawing and it was truly beautiful. Then I curiously noticed that her lady had a nose piercing.

I got my nose pierced about 5 years ago. I had wanted to do it for a long time but something held me back. I wasn’t sure it was me. Now that I have had it for this many years it is just a part of me I don’t even think about.

But as I noticed it on her drawing I remembered that most of her drawings of “fancy ladies” lately have had their noses pierced. And then it hit me. My daughter thinks I am beautiful.

What an awesome moment right? Except the weight of what that means also hit me. For my daughters, I their main standard for what is beautiful.

I am that standard when I am dolled up for a night out with their daddy. I am also that standard when I stand sideways and lament the extra cushion around my middle. I am that standard when I am confident running errands with limited makeup. And I am that standard when I complain about my boring straight hair. The straight hair they inherited.

That deafening voice that tells me I am not pretty enough or thin enough needs to be silenced. Certainly I don’t need to voice those thoughts out loud, but it also needs to be quieted in my head. Because my girls they are watching and listening. And I don’t want them to see themselves as anything but beautiful. Especially the one drawing this picture for me. She looks so much like her mommy.


  1. I love this post, and as the mom of three daughters I think about the responsibility it invites frequently.

    If you permit me to share, I wrote this about the issue: http://pinkdryerlint.blogspot.com/2011/06/why-i-never-criticize-my-appearace.html

    Thanks for such a thoughtful post.
    Robin @ Pink Dryer Lint recently posted…Why It’s GoodMy Profile

  2. Yes. I can do nothing but nod. Having recovered (by the grace of God) from an eating disorder that gripped me from age 12-23, I think about this so often. I am so prone to dissatisfaction with myself. And I have two daughters, one of whom is my total clone. I need to try harder to watch my words AND actions…

  3. what a really great post, I can totally relate as the mom to 2 girls.
    designhermomma recently posted…Beyond the hollow bunny rabbitMy Profile

  4. I love this post, Jill. So far, I’ve been able to hide my insecurities from my daughter, but I know that won’t last forever – unless I banish those nasty thoughts once and for all. I really want to. Not just for me, but for her. I want Annalyn to know that she’s beautiful…just like her mommy.

    Really, really love this post. (Yeah, yeah, I know I already said it. I just do.)
    Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect recently posted…Kicking it Old School with 11 ThingsMy Profile

  5. I’m behind. Way behind. But I feel ya. And I am the standard when my words are encouraging or UGLY. I hear them (my girls) and they sound like ME. And it’s frightening…
    Amy @ Finer Things recently posted…Weekend WanderingsMy Profile

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