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A Story of Beauty

Description

Courtney DeFeo discusses three truths about young women and beauty.

I just can’t make this stuff up.
I had a blog post due for the precious Blue-Eyed Bride this weekend. She asked me to contribute during a busy week for her and you know I love moms and any opportunity to encourage any mom group of any size. Sunday, I was in the airport waiting for my flight home from an awesome girls weekend and I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. I hit “send” on something close to my heart.

BEAUTY.

What it means as a mom of girls. How do I protect them, teach them, train them, encourage them – when everything around them screams they will never measure up in this area.
So, I hit send. (The comments for it are AWESOME.)

I walked on the Southwest flight – scanned the empty seats for normal, showered humans and took a seat next to one guy and one girl.

I’m not a snooper, but it’s sort of impossible not to hear conversations.
Immediately, I heard the word “pageant” and “just judged Miss something this weekend”… and at a glance I could tell she wasn’t little Miss Teeny Town USA. She was a big deal of sorts. We’re talking gorgeous specimen.

I just giggled and knew there was a reason I was in that chair. There are no “accidents” and I was going to have to embarrass myself and get her thoughts on BEAUTY.

Almost ¾ into flight I finally leaned over to this beauty and explained the deal (hoping she wouldn’t page an air marshal) and said, “Could you give me some advice as a mom and someone who gets to reach out to lots of moms?”

We had the greatest conversation and these were my favorite points (not exact quote – but this was the summary).

GIRLS CRAVE APPROVAL & ATTENTION BY DADS

We know this and we just have to remember that this is a desire deep in our girls’ hearts. They want attention and approval from men, early. Hopefully, they have a father figure in their life EARLY that can affirm them and remind them of their beauty – internally and externally. If not, hopefully there is a way to get a figure like that into their lives that understands his role to keep that going. She will be hunting for that to fill that void. Not just little girls – girls of all ages still need their dads to affirm their beauty and give attention. Many things come to mind – date nights, daddy/daughter dances, notes, etc.

WHAT IS PRETTY TRANSITIONS INTO WHAT IS SEXY

She talked about how young girls are challenged with their beauty identity from a very young age.  Then, as they start growing – they begin defining their ideals and worth on sexuality. She has some profound thoughts on this area I’ll share with you soon.

CELEBRATE THE DIFFERENCES

This touched me because I told her of Ella’s glasses (that are precious), but I know time is coming when she will hate them and hate her thick hair. She was so passionate about us moms encouraging them in those differences. Constantly reminding them how cute or great they are – or how much you love that curly hair or “thing” that makes them unique. Again, not just when they are little but all ages. They need us so badly (moms and dads) in their corner, reminding them they are worth something and amazing just as they are.

So, I thanked her. The guy next to her (friend of hers from high school) was in disbelief at the bizarre turn of events said, “How did you know to ask her about this?” And I said, “I heard a few words and I just kind of knew.” He said, “Well, she’s a celebrity and you asked the perfect person.” In true humble fashion of a true beauty, she blushed and said “nah.” We exchanged information.

Before I got to the car, I had an email wishing me luck with my endeavors.

It was signed…

Ericka Dunlap

Miss America

2004

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