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What to say when our daughters ask if we’re pretty

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“Are you pretty, Mommy?” my daughter asked.

I was taken aback.

I thought for a second as I stared in the mirror, strands of hair sticking straight in the air, eyes tired, face pale.

This can go either way.

I can say no, and show my daughter a poor self-esteem and that I don’t think I’m good enough, and she’ll learn she’ll always be a work in progress, too.

I can say yes, and place too much importance on beauty. That mommy is “considered pretty," so my daughter will feel she has to be what other people consider “pretty," too.

“It doesn’t matter. Mommy’s so much more than pretty. Pretty is one person’s opinion of you.” I paused.

“What matters is what’s in here,” I continued, pointing to her heart. "Mommy is a good person who’s kind and strong. And you can easily be these things too.”

Because In the eyes of the world, my daughter will never be pretty enough.

Because no one is.

But I’m teaching her, who cares? Because It’s so much better to be other things.

She smiled and nodded, and all I could do was hope she really understood.

Because our daughters were meant to do more than just be pretty,

just like their mothers.

This post originally appeared on the author's Facebook. Her book "Living FULL: Winning My Battle with Eating Disorder" is available on Amazon:

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