12 November 2013

She is so beautiful

My daughter is a beautiful child. She has smooth white skin, big, bright blue eyes with ridiculous eyelashes, tons of dark hair and adorable features. I'm partial, of course, but her beauty is confirmed by people almost everywhere we go. I never tire of hearing someone say how gorgeous she is. (Especially if they also say she looks just like me: LOL!)

What I like hearing even more is a compliment or comment on her personality, throwing arm or climbing ability (all of which are even better than her looks!). She's much more than a pretty face, and as she becomes a full-fledged kid and moves further from her babyhood the complex person she is becomes more and more evident.

One comment I have a hard time responding to is "Shawn's going to need to get a shotgun" or "You're really going to have trouble with the boys with this one."

Me: "..."

Somehow in this type of comment I hear Jane being devalued, which is something I can't stand no matter how well-intentioned the remark might be. I know the heart of it is a compliment on her physical beauty.

Yes she's a very cute kid who will likely grow into a stunning young lady. But I expect so much more from her than being a boy magnet. I want to help her develop skills and maturity to navigate relationships of all kinds, including boy-girl relationships. Our plan isn't "get a shotgun to keep the boys away" but rather equip Jane with the tools she needs to make wise decisions and demand to be treated as a person first rather than just a pretty girl.

Like most of my blog posts (especially in November) this isn't a fully thought out idea. But it's something that nags at me every time I get a comment like that. Maybe someone else has the right comeback? Mostly I just say nothing or nod and smile, which might be the appropriate response after all.

1 comment:

Katie said...

"[pause]...You know, I'm glad that you mentioned that because we hadn't considered buying a shotgun yet. We had been planning on educating our daughter about the meaning of sex and the value of moderation in life, as well as raising her to be confident and self-reliant. But now that you mentioned buying a gun, I'm starting to doubt our original plan..."