Beauty is a bad word that should be categorized to be as bad as saying “fuck”. Every where you look there’s some kind of advertising to make you look younger, feel sexier, look thinner, etc. The women on these reality shows on TV have had so much plastic surgery that their faces will not turn to dust when they leave this earth. The thought of cosmetic surgery has crossed my mind more and more lately. Especially when I realize that the peak of my cuteness has passed. Ok, I’m lying. I’m still cute. I’m just having a hard time with my breasts. I needed a boob job when I was 16 and now that I’m 29+, I really need some assistance. Okay, fuck it…I’m 38 and cosmetic surgery scares the hell out of me, honestly. My boobs aren’t the point.
As I was being selfish thinking about my ever changing body I started to realize how much beauty plays a role on my girls and it’s quite disturbing to me. Where my daughters go to school, they are probably the only little black girls in their classroom and when they were younger, they always wanted their hair to be flat. “Mommy, can you make my hair flat?” It didn’t resonate with me why they always wanted to get a relaxer and have straight hair until one of the girls said that the kids would make fun of their pony tails or braids (w/beads) that I would put into their hair. When I wouldn’t concede to their requests, they started changing the hairstyles once I left for work. Not realizing how much damage they were doing to their hair each day.
About a month ago, my daughter decided to use a razor to cut her eyebrows. I didn’t notice it at first until I really got a chance to get a good look at her. I think honestly, I was the last person to notice it. She had mascara on and her eyes were definitely looking different and that’s what made me realize what she had done. I didn’t even argue with her about telling me “no” that she didn’t have make up on when I know definitely that she did. I wear make up and make up is my side business so I already knew. I was more concerned with the why? Why did she harm herself by cutting her eyebrows with a razor? I know it had to hurt and yet she continued. I’m trying to comprehend the thought process. I know that it hurts like hell if you cut yourself shaving your legs or arm pits. Even as I write this, I feel sad for her because she felt she had no other choice.
She said that her friends told her that her eyebrows were bushy. I mean, she’s only 12 and yes she has thick eyebrows and more than likely we wouldn’t have let her get her eyebrows waxed yet but she didn’t give us any choices. She cut her eyes up pretty bad but yet the pain she went through was worth it to her.
I realize that I have been a 12 year old girl before and I think that my two biggest issues in junior high school was my period and when was I getting boobs. I just learned about a “sympathy bra” from my oldest. I had to go pick up a few in order to get a grade back up in gym class. I love beauty. I’m all for it. I considered myself an ugly duckling in high school and there were even a few times when I may have stuffed my bra a time or two but I wonder.
As a parent, I have to wonder how do I convey:
She’s a beautiful girl just the way she is.
Her personality can literally light up a room.
She’s very intelligent.
She shouldn’t care what other people think about her, it only matters what she thinks about her.
Are the kids today too far gone for them to realize their own self worth? Our values that we have taught her aren’t just values that we taught her today. This is what we’ve discussed since they were young enough to understand. I just have to figure out how I can get her to remember that beauty is only skin deep when she’s knee deep in being judged and ridiculed.
Will it get better or will she want cosmetic surgery before she’s 18? As much as I think I would want some work done on my body, I can’t. What kind of example would I set for her?