My Real Life

January 21, 2010

How Does This Happen?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:29 pm
Tags: ,

I’m furious.


Monkey Girl just came down, closed my bedroom door, and asked if we could talk in private.

After the whole Santa debacle, I felt more than a little apprehensive, but I said, “Of course,” and in she came.

“Do you like me, just the way I am?” she began.

“What?  Of course I do,” I responded.  “Why do you ask?”

Then, she proceeded to tell me the story of two girls at school, today, who told her she needed a makeover.  They told her they thought she could be pretty if she got some makeup.  Then, one of them told her that she was going to need to get rid of the glasses and get some contact lenses.


I asked her what she thought and she said, “Well, I think I’m pretty cute.”

I said, “I think you are pretty cute, too!”

We talked about how if they bring it up again, she can just say, “No thanks…I’m happy with myself the way I am.”

Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened.

When Monkey Girl was (brace yourself) five, a girl in her Pre-K class told her she wasn’t “stylish.”

A five-year old, not stylish?

So, my question is, how does this happen?

How do five-year olds critique someone’s style, and where do eight-year olds get the vocabulary (and the utter gall) to recommend a makeover to another?

I don’t buy the media argument. 

Yes, kids are exposed to more than I was exposed to as a kid, but I don’t believe that, in and of itself, is responsible.

Is it the parents?  Are the parents nitpicking and critiquing others in front of their kids, or worse, telling their own children they need to be prettier, more stylish, smarter, better?

I hope not.


Makes my stomach churn.

I don’t know where it comes from, and I know it’s not all kids. 

And, let’s face it…there were nasty kids when we were kids.  I’m not just talking the outright bullies.  I’m talking about the sneaky bullies.  Ladies, you know who I’m talking about, because they were always girls.  Girls can be so much crueler than boys.  I remember, as a kid thinking, “I wish she’d rather just punch me and get it over with, rather than keep at me this way.”

What I choose to take away from this isn’t the anger, but the pride in my Monkey Girl that she is confident enough in herself to say, “I think I’m pretty cute,” in the face of these words from her peers.  That’s hard to do, and I’m so proud of her for being able to not bend to the pressure.

I can’t protect them forever, I know.

But, wow…do I wish I could.


  1. oh no, that is so sad. Oh, I am so sorry that she had to go through that. That is so tough!
    First of all, you can tell her that a senior in high school (me) thinks she is absolutely adorable and loves her just the way she is.
    Secondly, i have noticed as I continue to babysit more and more families that we are entering a different era, where it is socially acceptable, nay, socially expected of little girls to wear clothes that, worn by girls my age, would get them called names like “trailer-trash.” Seen on girls ages 8-12, though, and their friends think they are cool. And, of course, the parents let their children walk all over them. The generation below me (and I guess my generation) is a very coddled generation. The parents do all their kids work for them because they want their children to get ahead in life and the fastest way to do that is through the hands of someone experienced. Believe me, I’ve seen it first hand many times.
    Please, do not let Monkey Girl fall into this problem. Tell her she is perfect just the way she is, which is something not many parents are doing nowadays. She doesn’t need to change a thing. She should keep her innocence as long as she can, and she will be respected by girls older than she is because she does that. let me tell you, when my friends and I see little girls dressed so scandalously, we cringe. it’s disgusting.
    Let Monkey Girl know that the girls in her grade who tell her she needs a makeover are the ones who are insecure.
    That’s my two cents. Sorry it’s long haha, I guess I’m ranting now. But I just want to make it clear that, even though all girls (including me) have gone through this, that she is not alone.

    Comment by Amy Johnson — January 21, 2010 @ 10:37 pm | Reply

  2. Hugs to you for support and to your DD because she is so wonderful!!

    Some of it may come from the mothers who are insecure. The other factor – television and movies – the new role models for our children.. Very sad – and the parents will watch with their children and laugh at sad situations. IMHO our value system is skewed – not everyone – thank goodness.

    You are doing a wonderful job of raising your children Amy – keep up the good work – and someday you’ll hear your words spoken by your children to their children!!

    Comment by Mauimagic — January 21, 2010 @ 10:47 pm | Reply

  3. As Tina Fey says or should I say what Liz Lemon said in the Reunion episode works for me at age 40 when I think about some of my school peers.
    “Suck It! You whittling IHOP Monkeys. That’s right: a jet! To New York Ci-tay!”

    Life is good. Geekdom rules. She’s a wonderful, beautiful girl.

    Comment by Sara — January 22, 2010 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

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