What could be more beautiful than an ever-expanding definition of beauty? Or perhaps there needn’t even be a definition, but merely qualities.
What are the kinds of qualities that make someone a beautiful person? Is it external beauty? Is it about fulfilling stereotypes on how to dress or behave as a girl?
Our girls are growing up in a society that favours beauty, style and grace over independence, strength and ability. What I am saying is these two sets of thinking do not have to be exclusive – they can be merged, and both can be of equal value.
If we were to speak strength, independence and ability to our girls, their inner beauty, their inner grace and their inner style will shine through, in whatever form it was meant to. It might even encourage them to achieve their potential, not to miss an experience, to be unique.
Let’s teach our girls to walk tall; be bold; have a voice; be secure in their own skin; own their space. Let’s teach our girls to be their own compass, to fill their space with colour, joy, their thoughts, their dreams; to blow up their own balloon of space.
Let’s teach our girls to be discerning and to not allow people into their space that would pop their balloon of confidence, diminishing their beauty in their space, or replacing their dreams and desires with societal norms.
The best things to compliment a girl on is her personality and accomplishments. These are things that she has a certain amount of control over and it is something that is intrinsically her, rather than something like clothing and hair which usually has very little to do with her and who she is.
Let’s banish superficial compliments from our language towards girls. Let’s praise them:
For being independent.
For being brave.
For being tenacious.
For being unique.
For being them, in its truest and purest form.
As we celebrate Women’s Month I encourage you to balance your compliments, the next time your friend posts a picture of her daughters on Facebook, rather than habitually saying how beautiful she is, take a moment to think about what other great qualities she has and compliment her on that.
This year I am once again dedicating my Women’s Day blog to my daughter who I hope never allows anyone to pop her brave, fun, imaginative and sometimes cheeky balloon.
“Alyx, own your space, and who knows one day you might ride a rainbow coloured unicorn over candyfloss clouds.”