I am cross with myself for even giving today’s “research” a second thought, but I just can’t help it because I disagree so strongly. I spotted a tweet by @Working_Mum of Adventures of a Working Mum and clicked the link to the Daily Mail. Some might say it’s my own fault!
It seems grown-ups are not to tell little girls that they’re pretty any more, for fear of turning them all into bimbos who think the only measure of success in life is one’s looks. Drivel. The book is called “Think: Straight Talk For Women To Stay Smart In A Dumbed-Down World,” and it sounds to me like it’s missing a huge point about self-esteem.
By telling your daughter she looks beautiful, or that she’s wearing a pretty dress, are we really encouraging an obsession with appearance? Perhaps if you only ever comment on how she looks, but not as part of balanced positive feedback. Mummy tells me that I’m beautiful every day. She tells me that I look sensational, but she also comments on how clever I am and praises me for working things out or doing things myself.
There might be a worrying increase in pyschological problems, but I’m pretty confident that I won’t become one of those statistics. At least, not because Mummy tells me I’m pretty. It seems to be that any obsessions with appearance are more likely to come from the constant media bombardment of comment and photos of celebrities. Has the skinny little waif put on a couple of pounds? So-and-so steps out in “no make-up disaster.” “Another wardrobe malfunction,” and so on. It’s this incessant coverage and ridicule that is going to cause more trouble for people, surely? In fact, if by the time I’m old enough to look at that sort of magazine I’m confident enough in myself, it’ll cause me no trouble at all.
The report says that teenage breast implants are up 150% year on year. And that’s because mummies tell their babies they’re pretty? Nonsense.
As for compliments being detrimental to my perception of myself, how on Earth can me thinking I’m worth something possibly be a bad thing? When I enter a room now and people smile at me, it’s building my social confidence. That confidence will grow and I’ll be self-assured enough to try things.
Here endeth today’s rant!