Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How To Talk To Little Girls

Joanna brought up a really good point yesterday about the way that we talk to little girls.

With our move up here to Utah, I find myself surrounded by babies and children everywhere I go; and when I meet a little girl for the first time, my first impulse is to say something liker, "Hello gorgeous! I love your hair! And those are very pretty shoes." I'm a little ashamed to say that I have a similar impulse when meeting women for the first time. "Hi, it's very nice to meet you. That is a great dress, by the way, and who does your hair? It's fantastic." Because what better way to break down the competitive barriers and endear yourself to another woman than by complimenting her appearance?

Don't get me wrong here, I am fully aware that my blog devotes a lot of attention to fashion and hairstyles and all things aesthetic. It is not the only thing I reference, but it represents a significant portion. I still believe that they way you dress, style and present yourself is a valuable form of expression. What I want to bring attention to (for my own education more than anyone's) is the danger of conveying the idea that being attractive is more valuable than being honest, or hard-working, or intelligent, or kind, simply having a good character. Women have a responsibility to come to these conclusions on their own, but young girls are still in the formative stages of their identity and their value system. The scary truth is that they take their ques from us, and we can make the world a better place by sending the right message.

I am resolved now to ask my young nieces and cousins what they are reading, or if they have gone camping this summer, or what think of the budget crisis, instead of where they got their shoes.


  1. Sometimes simple is best. I think kids have such a short amount of time to just be kids. It's okay not to be too serious with them. They like talking about their shoes!

  2. Ritual compliments are kind of a girl thing. I think they just happen to be about appearance because that's what's most obvious, especially if you don't know someone well. However, I also have seriously thought about how worth is not defined by appearance--physical or material, and I too want to project to young women that their value is based on much more. Interesting thoughts--I've had similar ideas about my own future children.