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June 30, 2011

Beauty is Big and Broad

For myself, I honestly don’t think much about “beauty” on a daily basis.

As part of my de-hobo-ization initiative, I make an effort to get dressed in “real” clothes every day…at least a pair of Capri pants or shorts and a decent t-shirt…something I can wear comfortably around the house, and still make a quick run to the grocery store.

I have a pretty simple wash-and-dry hairstyle. If I’m feeling really fancy, I’ll throw on a little makeup.

But after I get dressed in the mornings, I don’t pay much attention to myself as I walk by the mirror. I might give myself a quick glance if I’m heading out somewhere...or I might not.

Kinda like my age, I figure my appearance is what it is. I do the best I can…I’m reasonably well-groomed, and I’m healthy…and I have plenty of other things to occupy my mind.

Still, “beauty” is on my mind with respect to my girls.

We live in a world with a lot of mirrors. I don’t think my “it is what it is”, “outta sight and outta mind” approach will fully equip the girls to see through the inevitable smoke that they’ll encounter.

Of course I think my girls are the most stunning creatures on the planet, and I can’t help but tell them so. I think it’s important that they hear it, but I don’t want to over-emphasize it, either.

For one, I know I tell my girls, “You’re Mommy’s most beautiful baby girl!” at some pretty random times…times that – at least by grown-up culture standards – most folks don’t tend to look very “beautiful”…

…like when they wake up and have crazy bed-head and sleepy eyes…like during supper when they have the remains of baked ziti on their faces, and watermelon juice dripping down their chins…like when they’re hot and sweaty (their cheeks aglow in rosy red)…

And I really try to use the word “beautiful” to describe a lot of different things…

...as in, “What a beautiful plate of vegetables!”…”What a beautiful story!”…”What a beautiful song!

As we try to instill our values in our children, and equip them to face this big, bad, beautiful world of ours, I think the tendency sometimes is not to talk about beauty…to reinforce that it doesn’t matter.

After a lot of thought over the past couple of years, I don’t think that’s the complete answer.

The answer – for me – is to try to show the girls that “beauty” is everywhere. It’s big and broad in its definition. It’s a feeling, an appreciation. And it’s inside me, and inside them.

9 comments:

Holly Ann said...

I really love your philosophy on this topic. I plan to try to approach beauty with my kids in the same way you are. :)

championm2000 said...

I love this post and I love how your insight gives me food for thought, as my babies are just a wee bit younger than yours. As a first time mom, I know there are so many things I haven't considered, and how we will approach defining beauty is one of them. Thanks, as always, for making me think.

Wiley said...

Gotta say, I love your phrase " de-hobo-ization"!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

you are very cute and far from a "hobo" :)

Love this post and your take-outs...

And in the words of Bono, "it's a beautiful day" which is my most overused phrase with the word beautiful in it!

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

What a GREAT way to look and talk about "beauty"...thanks!

On a side note...I think I need some de-hobo-ization initative myself...LOL!

Have a "beautiful" day!

strongblonde said...

great post! i've been thinking about this a lot since i have b/g twins. i try to use the same words to describe both of them. my boy is beautiful as well as my girl. we talk a lot about being smart and funny, too! :)

Andrea said...

Love this post!! So very true! If only more Moms were like you, we might not have half of the issues today that girls deal with daily! Glad you shared!

Barbara Manatee said...

I'm there with you - pretty low maintenance, especially in the summer (I have to put forth a lil more effort when working though...ha!)

On a totally different (but same) topic, this totally made me think of a very funny Dooce post. One of the first of hers I ever read and it had me cracking up. You must check it out!
http://staging.dooce.com/archives/daily/05_01_2007.html

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

I agree...100%