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The Definition Of Beautiful I Am Teaching My Daughter

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Pretty is surface.

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My daughter puts on a dress and twirls around in circles. “So pretty,” she spits out. And she does look pretty as she gracefully twirls, her slinky-like curls bobbing along with her blue dress.

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We are browsing the toy section during a Target run. My toddler sees Disney Princesses’-- Ariel, Moana, Belle, and Snow White dolls lined up. She picks up the Snow White doll, and the first thing she utters is “so pretty.”

“Yes baby, she does look pretty.” I nod in agreement.

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She sees four-year-old girls or so-called “big kids”, in ballerina costumes, a sea of tutus flooding both of our visions, before a ballet class.

“So pretty mama,” she muses pointing to them. I do a double take.

“Yes, baby they do look pretty,” I say. Because they do.

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But beautiful. I only use beautiful on select occasions.

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Beauty is deep.

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Beauty is beyond the physical. You can have a pretty face, but it is your soul, your passions, and what you do to make others and yourself better that makes you beautiful.

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When my daughter finishes a painting in the basement and shows it to me, her face beaming with pride;

“So beautiful,” I say. I look at the red, green, blue, and purple spotted masterpiece she created on a blank sheet of paper.

Creativity is beautiful.

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When my daughter shares a toy with her little sister, handing her a Rubber Ducky to play with;

“So beautiful. Sharing is beautiful,” I say. Because it is.

Being kind is beautiful.

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When my toddler comforts her little sister when she hears her cry, placing her little hand on the small of her back and handing her a pacifier;

“So beautiful, you are such a good big sister,” I say.

Empathy is beautiful.

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When my daughter kisses me and says “I love you so much;”

“I love you so much too, baby,” I say back and add “showing love is beautiful.”

Showing and giving love is beautiful.

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When she performs a made-up dance while belting a made-up tune;

“That song is so beautiful,” I say.

Being authentically you, an original, is beautiful.

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This definition of beautiful is what I will teach my daughter daily.

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