My dd just turned 8. She is very tall for her age, so people think she is 9 or 10. She is very striking to look at. People say she looks like a young Dakota Fanning. We live in a small community, where we pretty much know everyone, so it's not such a big deal here. But yesterday we went out of town on a field trip, a man said "Hello Beautiful" to her. Also, as we were walking through a parking lot a grandma type lady drove past and said out her car window "You have a really beautiful daughter." There were several more times during the day she was complimented on her appearance.
As we were driving home she said to me "Mommy, one of the bad things about being tall and standing out, is being noticed by people all the time." We talked a little more and she talked about how it feels kind of "creepy" when people tell her she is pretty or beautiful and that she is not looking forward to being a teenager where she might get a lot of attention from boys or men because of her looks.
I want her to just be comfortable being herself. The artistic, funny, athletic girl that she is. Our culture has this hyper focus on looks. We don't have a TV or even fashion magazines in our house, but that pressure is still there. Empirically our dd falls on the good looking side of the scale. She is tall, thin, big blue eyes, long blond hair. She lucked out, but that's not what she wants to be about. How do we help our dds embrace their outer as well as their inner beauty, and to stay focused on the good things that are on the inside, when the people around them keep calling attention to their outsides?