Little girls are more than a pretty face

We are all guilty of this, aren’t we? Glorifying how cute little girls look in their adorable princess dresses and rosy pink cheeks. I am guilty of the same too, being a mother of a baby girl.

But do we realise that unknowingly we are putting the message across to little girls that the only thing that matters about them is their beauty or hair or body? I came across this article that triggered something in me. How about we all ask little girls we meet about their favourite book, favourite thing to do, favourite hobby and see their eyes light up! How about we try not to just focus on her prettyness and find out what lights her soul? How about we introduce them to real life “she-roes” and not just heroes.

You could have the prettiest and cutest daughter around who has picture perfect skin ( untouched by freckles from playing outdoors or swimming in the sea) and princess like hair but is that all that matters about them?

My childhood experiences

When I was younger (around 10-12), my parents sent me for swimming classes in my summer vacation . I was elated and excited! Within a couple of weeks my skin tanned and I turned 3 shades darker. This prompted so many of my relatives to advise my parents to stop this right away. “She is getting so dark and looks ugly”. Really? Is that all that mattered? The excitement of having learnt a life skill doesnt matter just because I was a girl?

Few years later, my parents put me in Architecture school to study Bachelor of Architecture, a 5 year course that gave me sleepless nights and extremely challenging studies that tought me design, art, history, plumbing, HVAC/wiring, landscaping and structural engineering. But so many relatives again decided to prompt my parents to pull me out of it. Why? Oh you know the usual, ” Why do you have to put her through so much hardship if she anyways has to just marry and settle down with kids in the future “? 🙄

I DO tell my daughter she’s pretty – because she is. Personally, I think she’s one of the prettiest little girl around and I am incredibly blessed to have her prettiness in my world. But, I certainly don’t want her believing that her beauty defines her worth.

I have never been conscious of her getting messy in the sand or park or water. In fact I do my best to encourage messy, imaginative play outside. In the near future we intend to have a sand/water table sitting outside in our backyard. We will continue to take her to the beach where she can get messy in the sand or swim in the sea and are also looking forward to numerous camping trips. She has been exposed to travel in any and every weather or situation since she was a tiny baby.  We will also make sure she is exposed to any activity or sport that interests her, may it be basketball/ karate/ cricket/ ballet or swimming as she grows. 

I’m hoping she will wear dusty/ cowgirl boots as effortlessly as she wears her pretty pink ballet shoes. 

A promise to myself

Yea, it may be f%^$# hard to raise a daughter even in the 21st century. But this is probably the biggest and bestest challenge -to make my daughter feel proud of her skills, passion, love for anything (academic or no), strong personality, determination and lots more. She will be lots more than just a “pretty face and beautiful body”

#promisetomyself #responsibleparenting #raisingdaughters #daughter

Author: nisreenakolawala

I am a former Architect who left her career to follow her heart and passion, which involves travelling, photography and Social media marketing. I have stayed in a rustic village of Eastern Himalayas, swum with colorful fishes and corals in Fiji, lived with gypsy Banni villagers in Western India, interacted with Kenya’s Masai tribe, river rafted in the freezing cold river in Ladakh, lived and explored a quaint beach town of Tanga in Tanzania, took a 48 hour camel safari in the Thar desert of Rajasthan, sailed on a felucca on the mighty Nile river in Egypt and chilled with the Kangaroo’s in Australia. Needless to say I am always adding more experiences and places to the list.

3 thoughts

  1. Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry you’ve been hurt by these sexist perceptions. I’m glad you’re doing your best to be a good example of change. It will save her a lot of hurt down the road. I’m working on how I’ve been hurt by this too

    1. Hi dear, thanks so much for writing in. So glad to know that you are working on your hurtful childhood experiences. Sorry you had to go through it as well. Yea, I am trying my best to be more responsible in my parenting so she doesn’t have to write about her negative experiences when she grows up. If we all try our best, the future generation will be more sensitive and mindful.

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