January 28, 2016

More Than Just a Pretty Face

I ran a few errands on my way home from the gym yesterday, my last stop being Starbucks to grab a well deserved cup of coffee. On my way out I bumped into an old acquaintance whom I hadn’t seen for a while, we both have daughters the same age, so small talk naturally drifted to our commonality. She asked what Rylee was up to, I gave her the Coles Notes version of school, sports, driving lessons and her a part-time job (the part-time job which costs me more than she makes when I add up all of the time that I lose on drop off and pick-up for the obscure shifts that she works, what we do for our kids).

We chatted on a little more and she told me that her daughter has also decided to look for a job wanting to be a hostess at one of the new eateries in town, it is also one of those places with a staff dress code rating of more mature than high schooler. Having little work experience, she asked her daughter if she was qualified to apply for such a job, her daughter said that she was because she was pretty and liked to talk to people. Slightly, although not completely taken back, the lecture started on how being pretty is not a qualification. They were out shopping, and at this point in the story they were in a menswear store to buy a birthday gift, as they approached the cash register the saleswoman asked my friend’s daughter if she was looking for a job, as they certainly could use someone who looked like her to work there…

I have to say that I certainly do admire such confidence at 16. At that age mine had been destroyed by a mean boy, and took many years for it to return, but even on a good day I can still find something negative to say about myself, which is unfortunate. Our society places a ridiculous amount of emphasis on how you look, and it has gone well beyond the point of teenage girls wearing too much make-up. Our daughters see their role models posting photoshopped and filtered images online, the Kardashian train wreck of contouring, extensions, fillers, botox and implants. And here’s the thing, as wrong as it may be, the reality is that how you look can open, as well as close doors.

Wanting to raise a strong and independent young woman, I remind Rylee often how smart and strong she is and how proud I am of her. I also tell her that she is beautiful, not because I want it to define her, but because I always want her to feel beautiful. Every woman should feel beautiful. I want to build her confidence so that she is always ok with who she is. And that if and when a door closes, or that mean boy or girl comes along she will be able to take it for what it is knowing that she is so much more, and just as important if a door should open because of her grades, experience or a million other reasons, I want to know that what she does when she goes through it, is what counts.



  1. Well said my friend.

Speak Your Mind