Weekend Observations: Why Look Beautiful? It's Not about You. It's About Them.

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I’m sure the title of this post got you saying, “boy, are you SOOOO yesterday.”  The accepted belief — or at least what we chose to SAY in public — is that we want to look beautiful for ourselves.   Looking beautiful is about feeling good and confident.  Who cares what others think, right?
No way.
When we look good, we should ALSO be thinking, “how does it make others feel?”
What do I mean?
My daughter and I were walking to synagogue to celebrate a friend’s bat-mitzvah.  This is a special day, not so much for us but for her.  So we dressed up in nice outfits, styled our hair (which really means we combed it :)) and made sure our shoes matched our dresses.  At the start of our trek to the event, my daughter asked me:“I’ll still look beautiful even if I wear a paper bag, right?”  Of course I affirm this.  But then I added, “sometimes it’s important to dress up, not so much to make ourselves feel better, but out of respect for others.”  Given this was someone else’s special day,  I explained, it was that much more important to put in that bit of extra effort to look beautiful.  Looking beautiful isn’t just to satisfy our own egos but to show we care about those of others’.
Of course I’m NOT  trying to get my daughter to focus ALL of her efforts on her appearance (though knowing her tomboy tendencies, I doubt this will be a problem …yet), but I want her to realize that by ignoring it, she sends signals about how she feels about herself and others.  So the next time we take our kids to a friend’s birthday party, go out for brunch with our buddies, or attend our own kids’ school events, remember that wearing that new shirt, shiny shoes or special earrings lets others know you care.
 

Weekend Observations: Why Look Beautiful? It’s Not about You. It’s About Them.

Stylish-earrings-luxury-gold-color-ear-clip-cuff-leaf-earrings-for-women-fashion-jewelry-order-10

I’m sure the title of this post got you saying, “boy, are you SOOOO yesterday.”  The accepted belief — or at least what we chose to SAY in public — is that we want to look beautiful for ourselves.   Looking beautiful is about feeling good and confident.  Who cares what others think, right?

No way.

When we look good, we should ALSO be thinking, “how does it make others feel?”

What do I mean?

My daughter and I were walking to synagogue to celebrate a friend’s bat-mitzvah.  This is a special day, not so much for us but for her.  So we dressed up in nice outfits, styled our hair (which really means we combed it :)) and made sure our shoes matched our dresses.  At the start of our trek to the event, my daughter asked me:“I’ll still look beautiful even if I wear a paper bag, right?”  Of course I affirm this.  But then I added, “sometimes it’s important to dress up, not so much to make ourselves feel better, but out of respect for others.”  Given this was someone else’s special day,  I explained, it was that much more important to put in that bit of extra effort to look beautiful.  Looking beautiful isn’t just to satisfy our own egos but to show we care about those of others’.

Of course I’m NOT  trying to get my daughter to focus ALL of her efforts on her appearance (though knowing her tomboy tendencies, I doubt this will be a problem …yet), but I want her to realize that by ignoring it, she sends signals about how she feels about herself and others.  So the next time we take our kids to a friend’s birthday party, go out for brunch with our buddies, or attend our own kids’ school events, remember that wearing that new shirt, shiny shoes or special earrings lets others know you care.

 

Weekend Observations: Be Careful What You Ask For

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My daughter couldn’t contain herself today.  At the last minute, we found a way to squeeze in a haircut for her.  Why was she so gleeful? Well, I have to admit she hasn’t gotten her hair cut since LAST YEAR!
But it was more than that.
She was excited to get her haircut last year too, but it was for a different reason.  Last year she pretty much wanted to reduce the painful combing sessions that she had to endure thanks to her long, curly hair.
This year she so looked forward to this moment because she wanted to look pretty, grown up, or cool, i.e., the typical desires most 7 year-old girls want to fulfill .  She didn’t have to voice this.  It was clear.
I have looked forward to these types of moments since her birth.  I’m not so much referring to her getting a haircut, but to those girly experiences during which we can bond over.  I too was excited for her to get a more mature haircut.
And, yet, I felt uncomfortable … no, more like conflicted.  While I’ve lightly bemoaned my daughter’s tomboyishness, I’ve also secretly felt some relief that she’s not jumping into the realm of beauty so fast.
Serendipitously, as Laila and I were reading Ramona And Her Mother a little later in the day, we landed on the chapter when Ramona and her sister, Beezus, get haircuts.  Beezus ends up hating her new do’ and admits through her tears:”I j-just wanted to look nice…I know th-that what I do is more important than how I look, but I just wanted to look nice.”  Her mother responds:” Of course you do…no matter what we say, we all want to look nice.”
Ramona’s mother reminded me of something. It’s in our nature to want to look beautiful. We live our whole lives in our bodies and we know that we were given them to cultivate and love, rather than to ignore. I know that as a mother, not only can I not avoid this topic, but it’s my duty to prepare her for it. My daughter needs to know that beauty should be empowering and affirming versus a way to get attention or cover for her insecurities.
We can’t avoid our daughters’ desire and compulsion to look pretty. Like Ramona’s mother, we need to embrace them and show our young ones that their beauty is wonderful.

Week In Review: 10/9-10/15

Catch up on what’s been discussed on Beautyskew this week:

Sheila taught me to embrace my daughter’s beauty…but in the right way Weekend Observations: What Sheila Kelley Taught Me

MAC cosmetics defies beauty industry norms again with its new campaign.  But does this campaign convince you to go out and buy more MAC?  Do they even care? Pic of the Week: The New Face For Mac

Buying luxury items doesn’t have to be seen as just an indulgence anymore.  No Need to Feel Guilty Shopping for Luxury Anymore

Many women are forgoing a critical aspect of staying healthy, namely exercise, so as not to ruin their hairstyle. Does Your Hairstyle Keep You From Working Out?  Many Say Yes, Yikes!

More fascinating news in the realm of beauty and culture More to Love: Additions to the Reading List

Comment or tweet me your thoughts @beautyskew