|From the Dove "Real Beauty" campaign|
|From the Dove "Real Beauty" campaign|
I was in a salon getting my nails done today when I overheard a woman behind me call over one of the owners. "That woman", she said pointing at a salon employee, "just made a comment about my daughter's eye brows. She said they are too big and now my daughter is really upset. My daughter is 10." My first question was why is your 10-year-old daughter getting a pedicure??? But that's beside the point... Apparently there was a misunderstanding and the salon employee was not intending to insult the girl, but of course the mother, looking out for her little one, stood her ground and said the salon employee "better shut her mouth." *Raaaaarrrrr!!!!*
Before the mother realized I was staring, I turned back around and tried to listen in what else was being said (hey, waiting for your nails to dry is not very entertaining, I needed something!). I'm not sure how the salon employees handled it, but by the end the mother had called over her daughter and said "I'm bringing you back tomorrow to get your eye brows waxed." The mother said she didn't want people commenting on her daughter's brows, which in all honesty were a tad bushy but NOTHING to make a big deal over, and she didn't want her girl's self-esteem to go down because of them.
Now I'm not a mother, but I think I get her point of view. You want to protect your child and make her feel beautiful, so when you see that her confidence is shattered by one silly comment, you want to do everything you can to make her feel beautiful again. Got it. But is jumping the gun and waxing the brows really the right solution? The girl is TEN! What message is she receiving? When someone makes a comment about your body, you go and change it? What about sitting her down and reassuring her that she's beautiful and that there are many women out there who would die for brows like hers? And that it doesn't matter what other people think, and that she may have bigger eye brows than most people but she's got a killer smile and awesome dimples that everyone gushes over?
I know the mother is only looking out for her daughter's best interests, and I'm sure I'd want to do the same thing for my daughter, but at such a young and vulnerable age the message we send our little girls is so important and impactful. If someone doesn't like your eyebrows you stand up and tell them you've got the best eyebrows anyone can ask for. You show them you don't care about what they say, you know you're beautiful and that's all that matters. Of course I don't expect a 10-year-old to really say those things, but it's the perfect time to start planting these messages in her head.
I really think that ten is way too young to be making regular visits to the salon to get waxing done. She's still a girl, still playing with dolls and thinking boys have cudies (I hope!). She doesn't need to be worried about her eyebrows or any part of her body and she certainly doesn't need her mother to encourage her to let a silly comment change the way she looks. I worry about this girl's confidence in the next few years. I get the need to protect our girls' self-esteem, but at what cost? Fine, she grows up with a few people making comments about her eyebrows, but we've all been teased at some point...and I think we can all argue that being teased as a kid turned us into stronger adults. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I encourage teasing or that we shouldn't help our children when we can, I just think a little discretion is required. Thicker-than-normal eyebrows are NOT a big deal. She's ten. She'll be upset for an hour then she'll get over it. And when she grows up, she'll appreciate that her mother made her feel beautiful no matter what. Not that her mother made her go through the pain of waxing her eyebrows every month because a few people made silly comments.
'Nuff said. Comment as you see fit.