Sunday, January 01, 2012

Princess Diaries

About a year ago - I started watching my friends' little girls as we would be at play group or one another's houses - immediately run to put on dress up clothes or tutus and crowns the instant they possibly could.  I thought it was so funny that they always wanted to do that.  Harper is around that age now and just in the last week - she has to have some form of dress up or tutu on at all times around our house. I even let her wear it to Wal-Mart one day.  She also is obsessed with Disney princesses and dancing and "twirling around in a skirt".  She likes to put on "make-up" and "jewelry" and to brush her dolls' hair.

I find all of this so interesting because I never really encouraged any of it. We have had a few dress up outfits and tutus in her closet on a high shelf since she was very little but it's just lately that she will pull a stool up and get them down every second of the day. I love that it's so innate in little girls to want to dress up and dance and sing and be "pretty" and to want to wear pink. Harper can not get enough of Sleeping Beauty right now or as she calls her "Simping booty".  Every time Aurora dances in the forest - she wants me or her daddy to get up and dance with her and sing the song.

I've had people comment or send me e-mails telling me I'm wrong to tell my girls they are pretty. Or that it's wrong for Harper to be excited to run in and show her daddy after she gets dressed each day so he will say "Oh Harper - you look so pretty".  I disagree for SO many reasons. For one - I don't think parents can tell their children enough how beautiful they are. Especially dads. Studies show over and over that when girls get the approval and praise from their dads - they don't go looking for it from the world. They have that security they need.
My heart GRIEVES when I hear women and girls talk about how they were never told by their parents how pretty and valued they are. I think of all the little girls around the world who don't have loving fathers or who are victims of abuse and I PRAY that God gives them somehow someone in their life who speak words of affirmation into them. 
I think it WOULD be wrong if all we talked about was how pretty they were or if we entered the world of Toddlers and Tiaras and started giving Harper spray tans and false teeth and wigs. We do tell her she is pretty - all the time. But probably 100 times more often we talk to her about her character. We talk to her about being sweet and kind and about sharing with others. We tell her how smart she is and how she can do anything. We tell her we are proud of her for every time she shows good character or behavior. We want her to know that beauty comes from the inside first and foremost.
I've known plenty of girls who could be models or Miss America who have so much ugliness in them that the beauty disappears quickly.  And on the other hand I've known some people who probably didn't fit the American standard of gorgeous who were so amazing in their kindness or personality - that I was drawn to them like they were the most beautiful people on earth. My mam-ma told me over and over "Pretty is as pretty does" and there is not a more true statement.

I'm loving this stage of being crazy about princesses and dressing up and dancing and "looking pretty".  I love that most little girls love the fairy tale. I sure did - for years and years growing up - I would ONLY wear dresses. And I remember wanting my friends to call me "Princess Kelly".

The greatest thing is that we as Christian women are ALL princesses. We are daughters of the greatest KING there is! And we ALL need to remember that "the KING is enthralled with your beauty".  Psalm 45:11

So many of us are making resolutions (I'm talking about myself more than anyone) to lose weight or work out more because we are worried about "being pretty enough" but God made us perfect as we are.  The greatest thing we can do is work on being pretty inside. And model that for our daughters (and sons).  I think most days I need to try to read Proverbs 31 and model that for my family.  This is what I want Harper to know most of all - so one day when her prince comes - he will have a wife of noble character:

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised   Proverbs 31:30

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