Tuesday, June 3, 2014

No Everyone is NOT beautiful, Stop telling girls that!

So recently on the Today Show they did this bit called “Love thy Selfie”, the basic premise of which was to help people love themselves as they are.  They did this by having the anchors wear no make-up (pause for audible gasp) and opening up about things they hate about themselves all culminating in the message that everyone really is beautiful, at every size even without make up.  At the gym I go to they are embracing this “Operation Beautiful” nonsense which involves posting notes anonymously to mirrors reminding strangers that they are beautiful and strong etc…..so that every woman knows she is beautiful.

Ugh, where to start?  As the mother of a young girl I hate this supposition that part of being a woman is feeling crappy about yourself.  I’d much rather see a sign or a program that says: “Stop worrying about whether you are beautiful! It’s not helpful. Put your energies into something more useful.”   And I hate that it smacks of the “everyone gets a trophy” mindset that is so prevalent these days. 

Listen, not everyone is beautiful.  Plain and simple fact.  If everyone was beautiful then no one would be.  Every woman in this world knows exactly how pretty she is.  Trust me on this.  You telling your daughter over and over again she is beautiful when no one asked her to prom isn’t going to fool her any more than giving the kid who scored an own goal an MVP trophy at the end of soccer season.  Imagine if at graduation we said “you are all Valedictorians!” 

Now you might say, “What’s wrong with telling girls and women they are beautiful.  What’s the harm?”  Here’s why: 

Trying to make everyone feel beautiful simply fuels the belief that for a woman, being beautiful is the most important thing you can be.  Everything else is secondary.  No one is running a “Everyone is Handsome “ campaign for young boys.  Do you know why?  Because men know that it doesn’t matter. If you aren’t handsome then you can be funny, or charming or smart.  They understand that their intrinsic value lies not in their exterior but in what they bring to the table of life. 

Listen, we are all given different gifts in this life. I have the gift of humor and thin ankles, like Hillary Clinton would literally kill for my ankles.  Some people are smart, some people are clever, some people are athletes, some people are creative and a very lucky few get to be several of these things AND beautiful too.  Lucky them.  Some women are beautiful and dumb as a box of rocks.  All of us have to make do with the cards we have been dealt. 

What we should be telling young women is NOT that they are beautiful, but that there is so much more to life than being beautiful! How you look doesn't determine your value in this world! 


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