By Jess Caire
Image Credit :: @jesscaire
I was having coffee with a friend recently who was quite upset because her 6-year-old daughter had told her that she thought only blonde girls were beautiful.
This little 6yo, her mother and her sister are all brunette. I could see the pain this comment had caused my friend, that how, even with the best of intentions, such stereotypes had crept into her little girl’s subconscious…
I sat there and listened, with my bleached, caramelly-blonde coloured hair and my 150 fake Russian extensions as I reached for my drink with my perfectly manicured fake nails… and thought of my own daughter.
My daughter is beautiful, inside and out, she has skin to die for, beautiful eyes, glorious naturally highlighted hair, and a smile that lights up a room. And when she asks “Mum could you please straighten my hair” I am quick, so quick, to tell her that she doesn’t need to straighten her beautiful hair.
But every morning she watches me iron out or perfectly curl my own fine, over-coloured, under-loved hair… She watches her mummy carefully apply makeup, the same mummy who tells her she doesn’t need makeup. My daughter, so young and beautiful and impressionable as she watches me diligently colour, wave and stretch my hair.
As I sat there listening to my friend I realised I wasn’t talking the talk or walking the walk. I was letting my daughter down by my own example.
I know, deep down in my heart of hearts that the perfectly toned hair colour (or thickness), fake lashes, nails and injections into my ageing skin won’t help me morph into the gorgeous A-Listers I stalk on Instagram. Because, I am me. I am fine-haired with some weird wave curl to it. I am mum lumpy, battered bodied, with pigmented-starting-to-wrinkle skin – ME.
How can I tell my daughter to be YOU and love what YOU have, when I am so busy doing the opposite?
Image Credit :: @jesscaire
So, I had my extensions taken out, my nails removed and am trying to find a way to get back to my natural hair without seeing any of the greys that I know are lurking in there… I’m not saying I don’t want to feel and look good – I do. I love a mani/pedi, having my hair done, and dressing up – but I don’t want to look at someone else and start trying to morph into them – and I definitely don’t want my daughter to think that we need to be anything other than the best versions of our beautiful selves.
The whole time I’ve been busy investing in my personal beauty quest, my daughter’s big beautiful eyes are watching me and digesting the message I am sending… a message that I’m not ok with being me
I like personal development, working on all that confidence and personal growth stuff, but man I have been dodging the loving me for me part.
There is something pretty empowering about looking at yourself for what you really are, to know that behind every laugh line, and freckle there is a story, a unique beautiful story the world needs to hear, that behind your crooked smile is YOU. Beautiful you.
So, to my little beauty, Cailin, my promise to you is this; I will spend more time loving what I have and who I am, in the hope that you will spend all your time loving who you are, exactly the way you are.