For Our Daughters

For as long as I can remember, my daughter has asked me questions that were more insightful than her little years would ever know. Standing there looking at me with her big eyes, so innocent and filled with wonder. I lost count of how many times we stood in our bathroom, she watching me as I put on my makeup. Initially, she would ask so innocently, “Why do you need to put that stuff on your face? It doesn’t make you look any better. You are already beautiful without it.” Then it progressed to more of an irritated inquisition. “Mommy, I already told you that you don’t need that stuff. You say it makes you look more beautiful but I still don’t see how.”

What I’ve slowly grown to realize is that she (our girls) are looking to us for validation that their own unique looks are acceptable and beautiful without all that “stuff”. Of course, we tell them they are gorgeous. But sadly, without realizing it, what we often unintentionally show them is something quite different. Certainly, I am not implying that we stop taking regular steps to present our best selves. Heck, I love a great red lipstick and some smoking red stilettos myself. However, what is the heart and manner with which we do it? Are we able to feel gorgeous without the extra 30 minutes at our makeup mirror? Do we genuinely believe that we make that red lipstick, that hairstyle, eye shadow, dress or heels look good because we are in it? Or do we believe that we need that to make us look good? I believe our girls see right to the heart of it and that is the place from which their opinions of their own beauty and worthiness are impacted with waves of silent messages. If we are desiring to have our children, our future women, grow up with the confidence to be proud of every aspect of what makes them individual and unique, then it is up to us to model that for them.

One of the most beautiful young women I have ever photographed had never worn makeup until the day of our session. She told me she just never felt it was necessary. And she was correct. Was she gorgeous with it? Yes! Was she gorgeous without it? Absolutely!

It is my strongest desire that we women feel the presence of our power and beauty solely because we are here. We are strong. And we are creators.

If you have never read the poem Phenomenal Woman by Dr. Maya Angelou, go now and read it here. You won’t be sorry that you did.

Charisse Rhodes

Just an ordinary superwoman trying to keep her crooked cape on while being a blessing to folks along the way. Find her online here.

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