Check out http://augustmclaughlin.wordpress.com!
Editor’s Note: Writer and Blogger August McLaughlin is hosting Beauty of a Woman BlogFest 2013. Bloggers are invited to write about anything related to the theme, which is based on Sam Levinson’s poem, The Beauty of a Woman. So, be sure to check out all the other bloggers who will be sure to inspire and entertain with their take on beauty beginning February 22.
I hope you enjoy my thoughts as a daughter and parent in “Mirror, Mirror.”
“No, not that mirror. One that won’t make her stare at every flaw.”
I looked at my mother in awe of her wisdom and insight. She’s come so far in her 72 years of life. She’s overcome her days of yo-yo diets and stinging taunts of being fat. (See my post “I like ‘em healthy“ that details my family’s body image issues.)
The sales person handed her another smaller size mirror with minimal magnifying ability.
“Oh, this one will do nicely. I’ll take it,” she said, returning the mirror.
My daughter had been asking for a vanity the last few years, but I had never wanted to emphasize the need to magnify aesthetics. As a society, we are bombarded with advertising and marketing messages that focus on looks – skinny jeans, airbrushed photos, fake boobs, ultra white teeth…I feared her sitting for hours primping and staring in the mirror. She knew my hesitation, which is why her comment about giving my daughter a mirror that does not accentuate flaws was so appropriate - so sensitive.
My mom began setting up a makeshift vanity for my older daughter. The desktop mirror was the final piece of the set that included make up, nail polish, glittery hairbrush and accessories.
My daughter arriving home from school was thrilled to see her new vanity set up. I listened outside her bedroom door as the two sat together and “chatted girl talk” about makeup and hair, and, of course, my mom being a hairdresser for 40 years gave her beauty tips.
I heard my daughter’s giggles. I heard her joy. I also heard the beauty of their moment as grandmother and granddaughter.
In that moment, I felt a mixture of happiness and guilt…
I felt guilty for being so overprotective of my daughter. If I continue to instill confidence with healthy role modeling and age-appropriate exposure to all the se outside influences, my daughter will continue to grow into a loving and confident young lady.
As a parent, I have to learn to let go a little bit more, and allow her to define beauty as she reflects in the mirror.
Lastly, I need to give my mother credit. She wanted to give my daughter this gift. I am not sure if she realized, though, that she gave my daughter the gift of knowing that beauty lies within. That being a good, loving person on the inside is what matters most – not the reflection we see in the mirror.
Do you have any life lessons about beauty you’d like to share? What is your definition of beauty?