Monday, July 23, 2012

Whatever Happened to Natural?

Real natural beauty never goes out of fashion.  That's what I've been telling my daughter lately.  Not that, at six years old, self image is an issue for her, but I want her to know that her natural beauty is what makes her "HER",  just as she is. 

She has an exquisite head of hair, long, thick, curly, tinged with honey and roses. The kind of hair I prayed for as a kid growing up. But of course, at six, she hates it.  That will never change!  And that's as far as her physical self-awareness goes at this stage.

She starts a new school this fall, it's much bigger than her last one and I worry for her.  At six, she will be so much younger than her second grade class mates.  It was one of our biggest concerns when they wanted to accelerate her through Kindergarten and Grade One last year.  Now I worry more than ever about her self-esteem, peer pressure, her lack of maturity, all of those things.  I wish I could go to school with her, just to protect and guide her. 

At some point, we have to let our kids step into the world on their own, but she has always seemed so fragile to me. Maybe it's because I'm her mother??  I'm sure every young daughter seems fragile to their mothers but I just want her to stay little forever, wrapped up in my arms, snuggling on my lap, reading a fairy tale. 

How do we explain to our kids that natural beauty is the most beautiful.  What lies within them, what  shines through their eyes is what makes them beautiful. Their spirit, empathy, and kindness, is far more important that their dress size or hair color.

Is true natural beauty on the brink of extinction?  Our children are bombarded with images of men and women who are pumped up, excessively trained, reduced, starved, bleached, nipped, tucked, waxed, sculpted, covered up, uncovered, recolored, remodeled, and perfected beyond recognition. 

How can they take the concept of natural and innate beauty as meaningful if all they see is the exact opposite? How do we encourage our young daughters to honor their own natural beauty when all around them is the results of highly manufactured, very expensive make-overs? 

If there is an answer to this question, please share. It seems I'm going to need to be prepared with a head full of good advice far sooner than I expected.

So, this journal page was done in Tombow water-soluble markers and pen & ink.  I love these pens when I'm sitting in front of the TV, out and about, or just doodling as I ponder the complex and uncertain future my kids face. 

Thanks for checking in. xx