My little girl, Dylan—though she doesn't seem all that little anymore—is my mini me. She loves to watch me put on my makeup, give her two cents on my style choices, and occasionally strongly expresses her disapproval of the clothes her dad picks out for her, because they're not "fashionable enough." I think it's partly (okay, fully) my fault. She feels entitled to look good, because I need to look good in public when portraying my magazine, Magnolia Magazine.
I try to remind her that one's outward appearance is not as important as your personality, your creativity, and your smarts. A lady is much more beautiful when she's not only focused on her veneer, but in beatifying her soul, as well. Unfortunately, I have to get through the sass before leaving an imprint. "Yeah, but your looks are the first thing people see," she'll say to me.Where then I would reply, "But your personality—
your internal beauty—
keeps them interested, and will keep your friends around and make you new friends." But though I want her to hear what I say and take my word for truth, how do I explain it thoroughly and accurately to my daughter when she witnesses society making instant stereotypes based on appearance? When "She looks," "He looks", or "They look," are often said and heard?
As her mom, I am the first example my daughter will ever have in what a woman is. Because of this, I also possess the most influence as she grows older. I would also be the example that will be comparable to the woman she is, the woman she wants to be, and the woman she doesn't want to be. I'm well aware that my daughter will find many things about me that she will detest and swear to never be. With all of that in mind, I should be open and honest with her. Here are a few conversations that I will awkwardly stumble through when they come up, in the hopes that I will be able to properly raise my mini-fashionista. 1. Crushes will always be a part of your life. You don't need to be scared of them, but you don't need to dwell on it either. 2. Your friends are the people who will support you, scold you, and challenge you. Pick them wisely. 3. Don't be a part of a clique. Exclusivity is unnecessary when it comes to building a friendly relationship with someone, or even as an acquaintance. The more people you know and come across, the more socially aware you are of the way the world works. 4. Do not underestimate your studies. You will always need to know your math, and you will always need to know your science. It doesn't seem so now, but you will someday use the knowledge you stored in your brain for something. 5. Drink water. Lots of it. 6. Don't be afraid to try new things. You'll never know that you like it if you don't try it. 7. Fashion isn't a statement. Daily fashion is an extension of your personality. Portray it. 8. Knowledge is power. The more knowledge you possess, the closer you are in ruling the world. 9. Never. Drink. And. Drive. 10. Don't be in a hurry to have sex. Not even when you're being teased. It's gross, it's painful, and it should be an experience that you know will be a gentle one. Don't win this competition. 11. Travel. Yes, life is short and you'll want to get as much done as possible in one lifetime, but always make room for the rest of the world. Though education is important, it'll still be available to you when you're done visiting Asia, Spain, Paris, or Rome. 12. If you love what you do, and that is what you want to do for the rest of your life, be happy doing it. Truthfully, you can make money doing it. It may not be a lot, but you'll find a way if you're willing. 13. Stop. Stop and help someone. Put others before yourself. Your happiness can always be achieved, but if there are others less fortunate than you and you know you can do something about it, then stop and help them. 14. Make a difference and do your best at it. Try not to settle for less than your best. Satisfactory is fine on rainy days, but don't quit until it's something you are ultimately proud of. 15. Don't pollute. 16. No matter how angry you are with me or how you think I won't understand how you feel, I will! I've probably gone through it. 17. Don't settle. Just because someone of authority "said so" doesn't mean it's right. Always question something you are unsure of. I'll have to remember to be honest when we have our conversations. My mom used to brush off awkward conversations with me by telling me half truths and not elaborating on it. I remember asking her one time about when she knew that she was in love with my dad, and she would answer, "I don't." For a while I was confused and thought that it was okay for a woman to marry a man even if she didn't love him. Then I discovered puppy love and BAM! Disaster. I sometimes pretended that I would some day get married to the guy I had a crush on. I didn't tell my mom about it. What did she know about love? She married a man and had kids with him even though she didn't love him. I'd HAVE to marry this guy, 'cuz I was just so IN LOVE! So, this is how I plan to properly raise my mini-fashionista of a daughter. Be honest, be transparent, and talk about all of the above. But for now, I think I'll keep working on getting her to portray her personality through her fashion pleasantly. Here's how to make conversations with your kids less mortifying—for both of you.Are your kids ready for THE TALK? Here's the sex talk every parent needs to hear . . . or don't sweat it, there's an app for that, too!