My colleague, Margot L. Denomme, has written this book with her two daughters, age 9 and 11, to help girls answer this question. I am inspired by Margot and her daughters.
We all know that we are bombarded daily with images of what is, or is not, beauty. Images are photoshopped beyond recognition. Girls are subjected to this tsunami of what society deems acceptable and valuable. Many girls sense that society may want them to have a limited and (very constrained) shelf life – beyond which they must contort themselves with artificial fixers: botox, hair dyes. A too high pair of shoes and loads of exercise may forestall the best before date.
Margot is a top Crown prosecutor. She has dealt on the front lines with tough cases, many involving women victims of domestic abuse. It is not difficult to see the connection between the scars, both physical and emotional, that many of these victims wear, and a lack of self esteem.
Margot’s book which is wonderfully illustrated, engages young people in a dialogue about what is pretty. Molly goes home to ask her Mom, “Mommy, am I pretty”. Their discussion unfolds and reveals that beauty is much more than skin deep. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and assortments. Beauty comes from within.
Beauty means being confident. Being healthy. Being proud of yourself. Beauty means being kind to yourself and others.
If we can forge self esteem and a sense of self in our girls, and have them know, deep down, that they count, maybe, just maybe there will be fewer criminal cases for Margot and her colleagues to prosecute.
Making a difference. Thank you Margot.
Posted by:Karen McArthur