Our society has a horrific obsession with beauty and sadly, women are its major victims. We are consistently being told that we’re too fat, too thin, too tall, too short and much more. In such a society, this mother’s thoughts about not expecting her daughters to be beautiful is a must-read for every parent!
Our movies, social media, and sometimes family & friends bombard our young girls with unrealistic beauty standards. And, perhaps that’s why if you ask little girls what they want to be as they grow up, many of them will say “beautiful” before they say anything else. Not intelligent. Not courageous. But Beautiful.
Thankfully Ekta Shah, mother of two, has taken up a path of not letting her daughters be limited by the word – Beautiful.
While sharing her inspiring struggle of keeping her daughters safe from the beauty industry with TBI, this mother’s beautiful post is a must-read for every parent:
“Aunty I am on a diet, I won’t take sweet even though I like it!” – A ten-year-old retorted when one of my friends offered her a sweet that she had made for her kids.
“You will turn dark if you play in the sun,” says a dictatorial instruction to 5-year-old.
“Children have tanned playing under the sun,” goes a conversation between parents.
“OMG! Your daughter is too dark! Use some home remedies to make it one fairer, else it would be difficult later in her life.” says another.
And here I am doing nothing for my kids!! They are constantly playing under the sun, getting tanned and have no dietary instructions.
I am just keeping them away from the word “Beautiful”.
What kind of Mum am I? My daughters must be the unluckiest!”
Further adding why she doesn’t want her daughters to be beautiful, this mother mentioned:
“But I don’t want my daughters to be ‘beautiful’. Absolutely not! My reasons are myriad, but have you ever wondered how this word is vexing innocence and childhood nowadays?
Very early in life, girls are getting conscious of their skin, hair and fitness. When did playing under the sun become a taboo? The diet mantra, in the name of fitness, even at tender ages, has become a status symbol. Isn’t this the age when kids are supposed to be detached from all these things?
I am not overruling fitness, especially when concerning an unhealthy lifestyle or any medical need. And I know how it feels when you don’t fit into the so-called criteria to be called ‘beautiful’ – which only oscillates between two words – Fair and Slim.
My questioning comes from the definition of beauty itself, which has changed over the years – and the dreadful impact it is having on the younger generation. Life goals have changed to an extreme.
Now, it feels like even children are ONLY finding ways to look perfect. Also, beauty standards have gone up, and now only a few can fit into it. The rest have to bear the brunt of body shaming.
So what would I like the definition of beautiful to be? Should I remove the term from my kids’ dictionary? Should I use only for models or a beauty contest winner? I mean, it’s good to be beautiful and healthy.
But why is it that the parameters can accommodate only fair and slim? These terms are affecting our children to the core – physically and emotionally.”
She ends her post by sharing how parents can save their kids from becoming slaves to the beauty standards set by society:
“I am a mother of two girls, and I don’t want to stop my children from exploring themselves by getting trapped in the word ‘beautiful’. Life is much beyond this, and it is perfectly fine to look the way they do!
Isn’t it our duty to tell our children what beauty is really all about?
So what if they turn dusky while playing football or cannot have six-pack abs. And so what if they are little bulky in size! It doesn’t matter at all – at any point in time in your entire life!
You don’t need perfection when it comes to your appearance, and that’s what I teach my children. You are not how you look, and your inner self is more important. That is a real kind of beauty, which lasts forever – wherever you go and whatever you do.
Restricting yourself to achieve an obnoxious life agenda is dreadful, and that’s why our children should never have these as their life goals. After all, life is much more than how you look. Why don’t we let our children grow in a free manner and let them fly the way they want to?
Ultimately, all I wish is that ‘beauty’ changes for my children, and is never a hindrance in their life.”
At IFORHER, we are so much proud of Ekta as she managed to raise a very valid point about being beautiful.
We feel its high time that our daughters reclaim their bodies and their lives. We wish our young girls are told that beauty isn’t just in skin color or body shape or features. It is in COURAGE, PASSION & DETERMINATION!