Saturday, October 9, 2010

Beauty is More than Skin Deep

I have a daughter who's about to enter her teen years. She just turned 11 and I can't believe how she's grown up in the blink of an eye. I know that's cliche to hear, but if it's happened to you, you know it's true. 

As I was growing up, I was told I was ugly. Kids at school teased me about my glasses, my hair, my clothes, my smile, whatever. I know now, looking back, that whether it was true or not wasn't the point - they were just looking to make themselves feel less crappy by making someone else feel MORE crappy.

So, job well done, middle school mean girls.

My daughter, Peppermint Patty, is so kind-hearted. She and I have talked many times about standing up for people who are getting picked on. It's been an exercise in courage for her, but she finally came home the other day and told me how she stood up for Francesca when she was being tormented mercilessly on the bus. She told the bullies to just leave Francesca alone, that they aren't being nice, and to just sit down already.

I got a lump in my throat when she told me that. I don't know if I would have been that strong or confident in middle school. I was a bit of a shrinking violet when it came to the mean girls. I sat back and took it, and just waited for them to go away. I figured if I stayed quiet, they'd be done with me faster and move on. But Peppermint Patty cannot stand to see another person getting hurt; she sees injustice and feels compelled to right the wrong. I wish I'd had a friend like my own daughter when *I* was in middle school.

She is beautiful to her core: on the outside as well as on the inside. There will come a day, all too soon I'm sure, when she'll need braces and acne medication and she'll doubt her beauty. She'll look in the mirror and won't be able to see past the metal in her mouth or the oily skin or stringy hair. She won't see what I see. I want her to always know that beauty isn't what's on the outside, but it's what is on the inside. Again, cliche. But she is already living her beauty in her actions, and I really believe that if she keeps going in the same direction, her beauty will shine through any pubescent imperfections.

I fret a bit, because kids do treat each other badly, especially girls. I don't want my daughter to face that if she doesn't have to. I want people to meet her and see her beauty, not her superficial imperfections. I want her first impression with them to be better than the first impression I gave as a teen.

Beauty is more than skin deep. I'm so lucky I have a daughter who taught me that.

This post is an entry for a contest for Invisalign. Their product gives so many teens get the chance to let people see their inner beauty, not the metal in their smile.

Texan Mama


Janet said...

She sounds like an incredible girl! Beautiful inside and out.

GunDiva said...

What a great kid. You done good, Momma.

Foursons said...

Way to go! I'm sure your heart is just bursting with pride.

Bridgett said...

Francesca is so lucky.

Emily said...

What a wonderfully compassionate little girl you've raised!! I hope Melody is like that. It takes a strong woman to stand up to bullies...way to go, Peppermint Patty! It is what's on the inside that counts although I think your daughter is gorgeous both inside and out!

Jennifer said...

Wow, good job Momma. She's all she is because of you so go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back.

Gigi said...

You are raising a strong and beautiful girl. Way to go!

Michelle Saunderson said...

I also have an 11 year old daughter. Too bad they don't live closer, they would probably get along fantastically, they sound so much alike.

Melani said...

This post made me get teary eyed...Your daughter is wonderful! Just keep encouraging her to be a strong woman and she will do fine!

I have a son who will be 18 in December and YES in the blink of an eye they grow up on you...I am so not looking forward to having the house with no kids... :(

Mommy NaniBooboo said...

What a beautiful soul your daughter is.
Must be the progeny of a beautiful mama.

PS- Baaa tribe in the house!