Pretty.

Y’all. I have a two year old. I shouldn’t be dealing with these issues yet. Give me at least a few more years!!

I blame Veggie Tales.

Specifically this story:

Iva got Sweetpea Beauty as a gift for Christmas and we’ve watched it a couple of times. (She loves the Silly Song more than the movie itself, I think, but that’s neither here nor there.)

I have some incomplete thoughts about Princesses and ’emphasizing beauty’ to a generation of girls that are inundated with not-so-subtle messages about where their worth lies.

  • On one hand, I see that cutting out Disney Princesses and all that they stand for would benefit in that it keeps you from having to deal with these types of issues … for a while.
  • And on the other hand, I think that’s the easy thing to do — to try to cut out someone else’s influence rather than being a parent whose voice is able to speak truth over the noise of the lies that your child is GOING to be told as they grow up.
  • Avoidance may serve to delay the tough work of affirming character and personality over beauty, but you won’t be able to avoid it forever. The message is pervasive.

All that said, it’s kind of obvious that the Sweetpea Beauty thing came as a response to these conflicts. So the point is to give young girls a lesson about how real beauty is inner-beauty and how The King loves us whether we’re pretty or ugly.

But my two year old is too young for the nuance of that lesson just now. So this is what’s happening: She stands in front of mirrors, looks at herself and then says to us, “I don’t feel pretty.” (See the above video at 3:10.)

This has happened three times now. And it is heartbreaking.

So we’re going to table the Sweetpea Beauty thing for a while, at least for a few months, until she’s able to understand the real lesson and not just quote the most heart-breaking line of the whole movie repeatedly. Right now when she says it, we just remove her from the room where the mirror is, emphatically say to her, “Your mommy and daddy think you are sooo pretty. And we love you!”

You guys, where is Abilene in my life? I need her to speak soft, quiet truths into my baby’s ear every day.

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3 responses to “Pretty.

  1. first of all, snoodlerella, lol! I can’t believe I missed out on veggie tales as a kid. awesome and hilarious vegetables? yes please! any how, your blog brought up similar thoughts/memories and after reading this, I’m going to take time to ask my Mom how in the world I was so obsessed with pretty pretty princesses and still managed to be a somewhat confident child. I think it was an equal viewing balance of little mermaid and then she-ra, but I mean, I was no busty red head, nor leggy blonde and now I’m really curious. I think it just comes down to a good loving mama, and Rita you got that on lock, darlin! iva is gonna know how much she’s loved by both you guys therefore realize her own glowing beauty, which should morph her into the future superhero/female president/rock star I’m sure she’s bound to be. but yeah, now I’m intrigued, cause I remember asking my mirror who was the “fairest of all” and now when I show up to work with my hair in a bun and shirt with a hole in the sleeve, it seems laughable! 

  2. I personally love Sheila Walsh’s Gigi collection. Gigi: God’s little princess is about an average little girl who knows she IS a princess in God’s eyes. It actually doesn’t emphasize outer beauty at all either negative or positive. My Gabby started on these very young and STILL loves them. She has many videos, the devotional Bible for girls, and yes, the doll. So, the quotes I have heard are more like arguments of convincing her brother…”Owen, I am too a princess because I am God’s princess!” Ok, so the arguing needs a little work, but the message is clear and I love it!

  3. So true! And it’s so hard when the first thing people want to say to a little girl are “You’re so pretty” or “what a beautiful shirt” – while those things are very true (in my humble opinion), I wish other things could be talked about. It’s just so engrained – even for me – to do.

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