A few years ago, I realized something that I was doing surprised and angered me. When I met young girls with their parents, I would ooh and ahh over them, like everyone else, though there was something I unknowingly did that contributed to the ongoing beauty struggle that women everywhere endure.
I was telling little girls, “You’re so cute!” or complimenting their clothes. With boys, I vary rarely commented their looks, unless they were very small. I usually asked them about school. Geez.
As someone who struggles with self worth based on my weight and my looks, it was a rude awakening. Seriously? Is that the value I personally saw in little girls? Absolutely not.
It had me thinking of how deeply ingrained this looks-based approach to girls and women is in our culture. Apparently, it’s so deep we don’t even notice it.
Since then, I’ve changed my approach. When I meet a new little girl, I say hello and ask her about school or her interests or what she wants to be when she grows up. I may even say she looks like she’s carrying some serious “girl power.” No more comments on looks. Ever.
We are so much more than how we look. When I came across the “Stop the Beauty Madness” campaign, it made so much sense to me. It’s an effort to call attention to how ridiculous it is that women are constantly judged based on their looks and size.
Please join me in sharing their images on your social channels. And let’s all give a bit more thought to how we talk to young girls. Every small change we make to how we talk about beauty and value to our girls and women makes a difference.