The “pretty” dilemma

If you haven’t noticed, my daughter is, to put it lightly, a girly-girl. I’m not sure where she gets it from *cough*my sister*cough. This would be fine if it just meant that she liked pink, ribbons, dresses, unicorns and glitter (and good grief, does she ever). However, she tends to take it a little too far.

Madeline is hyper-aware of what other people think of her. She doesn’t care if they think she’s weird, crazy, silly, or all of the above. She DOES care if people think she’s cute. She’s always asking us things like “Do I look cute?” “Do you think I’m so pretty?” “I have to wear this beautiful dress, because then everyone will love me.” Despite my consistent response of “Of course, but you’re perfect no matter what you wear” and other assurances that appearance doesn’t matter if you’re a good person, her answer is always something along the lines of, “Thanks, but do I LOOK cute?”

This is a difficult question for me to answer, because she IS cute. She’s objectively adorable. But I also want her to focus more on her other attributes, because she’s also incredibly smart for her age, with a vocabulary that’s better than most adults. She’s funny, clever, a creative problem solver, thoughtful, compassionate, and a million other things. She knows all this, but the most important thing is still her appearance. I almost wish it were a self confidence thing, because I can boost confidence, but she doesn’t doubt that she’s pretty – she knows it, and wants to show the world. I just want to show HER that, despite the fact that she’s beautiful, there are more important things to be proud of.

This child has confidence for days, but I don’t want her to be superficial. It’s a dilemma.

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