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.

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