My Daughter is Vain Enough & You’re Not Helping!

3 Oct

I have a major pet peeve. Gets my hackles up every.single.time.

I am so sick & tired of people telling T~ that she is beautiful.

I get it. She is a nicely featured child & I agree, she is a beautiful child. But her adoring public is doing her a grave disservice by always commenting on how cute she is.

Believe me when I say, she already knows.

Whenever anyone says to her “You are too cute!’, I want to pass out this Huffpo article about interacting with girls & say: ‘What she said.’

My daughter is very appearance oriented. She’s always fixing her hair or asking if she looks pretty in whatever outfit she’s chosen – mostly a girl thing. Right now she gets tons of positive feedback. What happens when she turns 7 & is now an awkward elementary school child? Or what about when she’s a teen & has a face full of zits & she doesn’t feel so beautiful? Will you comment on her facial features then?

Do you see the problem? For years she’s been set up to think people love her because she’s pretty & when that stops, I can imagine it will affect her self-esteem.

I want her self-esteem to be based on other things. I want her to be proud of her artistic abilities, or her fashion ‘sense’, or any number of talents she possesses. She is a beautiful child, inside & out, but it’s the inside stuff that matters most.

Maybe I’m going off the deep end here, but I also think people comment on T~ purely because she’s adopted. I think people feel compelled to say something; to acknowledge that she’s different. Also not helpful.

I wish I had some pithy, educational comeback for T~’s adoring fans. Something that would point out what they are really doing, & yet not deflate T~ at the same time. Depending on the day & the person, I’ve been known to comment that she’s also very vain & thanks for feeding into that. More often than not, I just say thanks & walk away.

So tell me, my adoring blog-reading public, what would you say?

K~

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5 Responses to “My Daughter is Vain Enough & You’re Not Helping!”

  1. Jennifer October 3, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    I completely agree with everything you said….my response when people say how beautiful Rebekah is….(at least, this is what I say in my head)…”She is not the beautiful when she is yelling ‘I hate u’ to me while destroying her room, or when she draws pictures of me dead with her over the top of me holding a bloody knife, or when she smacks another kid because ‘she looked at me wrong’, or when she says mean, hurtful things to her siblings.” Do you think people would freak? Actually, they would assume I was exaggerating, I’m sure. I would take beauty on the inside every.single.day before beauty on the outside….pretty people still go to jail. I’m with ya, girlfriend!!

  2. Lynn Thomas Lotz October 5, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    I have told B from when she was little that pretty is only as pretty on the outside as pretty is on the inside. Pretty is as pretty does. When she was T’s age I explained simply, and as she has gotten older either of the above said and she knows she isn’t being so pretty!

    • Jo October 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

      It is not the same thing, but my pet peeve is when people (and mostly women) will ask me (a woman) what department does my husband teach in–like it is impossible for ME to teach at an university–it could only be my husband who is smart enough to teach.

      So, my response is “My husband teaches in ***** and I teach in ********. The reaction is generally shock–like they never thought of the possibility.

      I would just follow the “thank you” with “And she is very smart and talented as well. She enjoys (insert your response) and we are proud of her. Most of the time, the person will then follow it with “Oh, you are talented”.

      After enough times, the message to T. will become clear that she gets the same reaction (people paying attention to her) from people when they are talking about her smarts and talents.

      I agree with you wholeheartedly and congratulate you on paying enough attention now so you don’t have a self-absorbed teenager on
      your hands in ten years–there are too many of those out there now.

  3. Wendy October 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    I was gonna say the same thing,….Tell them…”Yes! and she is great at ………” and move away from the looks. People say the same thing to Maddie and where as I know she is cute, that is not helping!

  4. 165 Flight June 4, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    I’m late to the party, but I get the heart of it. I have a very beautiful 16 year old daughter that is so very absorbed in herself and all things that pertain to her! We really can’t go anywhere without someone commenting on her beauty. Now, my daughter is already VERY needy due, to an absent father, so this excesive attention is just like a cancer being fed. I really want her to have a different focus.. more on life and what her future may hold rather than fleeting beauty. I appreciate the response above that in essense says to redirect the complement to something of lasting value like how smart she is or bring out some other talent she has. I can only pour into her lasting values and true self respect. Thanks for the post!

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