Saturday, 21 January 2012

Why do I have to look pretty, Mummy?

I was attempting to pull a brush through the mass of tangles that is my daughter's hair, much to her consternation.

'There!' I said, 'Now you look pretty.'

She paused. Then looked at me and said:

'Why I do I need to look pretty, Mummy?'

And I didn't know what to answer, because she doesn't need to look pretty, does she? I don't even know why I said it. I brush her hair because she gets her food all over it and so that I can tie it up and she can actually see what she's doing. And then I read this:

The truth is the future – her future – terrifies me. When I was 11 or 12 I couldn't care less what I looked like... I was too busy going out on my BMX bike. But her generation are in the thick of it: a society obsessed with celebrities who are botoxed, boob-jobbed and fillered to within an inch of their lives. Everyone is judged first by appearance - ask questions later. And the peer pressure, oh the peer pressure. Have you noticed young girls these days (and boys, for that matter) they all look the same. Their hair is the same, their make-up is the same, they wear the same clothes. It makes me want to up sticks and move us all to a desert island until she's, like, thirty.

In the end, this is what I said:

'You don't have to look pretty, honey.' I said. 'But you can't do glueing and sticking and eating at school with your hair in your face, can you!'

'No!' she agreed.

And I resolved to think twice before using the word 'pretty'!

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