When do we Forget about our Natural Beauty?

Like most parents I look at my daughter and see such a beautiful little girl. I see her eyes, her hair, her skin and love every tiny part of her. I see her blemishes – the scar on her lip where she fell over, running with a straw cup in her mouth and the scar on her chin where she fell over in the lounge and I love those too, the little things that have come as she has grown that make her who she is and shows the things that she has experienced.

Then I look at her again and I am taken back to myself at the same age. I had that same beautiful red hair, that same flawless fair skin and those blonder than blonde eyelashes. LP is the picture of me as a child.

Then I roll the years forward and remember using mascara and eyeshadow in my teens. From there spiralled my affair with make up. We’ve never had a full blown romance, but I have always used mascara – I have never been able to leave the house without mascara on in my whole adult life as I feel my eyelashes are too fair, non existent really. On days where I have plans I wear foundation too but really it takes a lot for me to use more make up than that – I’d need to be going to something special to get the blusher, eyeshadow and lip gloss out! But still, I see my flaws, my skin that is too fair, blotchy and lined slightly by the years. I see those fair eyelashes and when I have an event or night out I even choose contact lenses over glasses to hide the fact I need glasses to see clearly.

I remember the 16 year old that got hair straighteners for Christmas and straightened my hair religiously after that. I remember getting my hair highlighted when I was 18 and going back every couple of months to have it redone, being so blonde the last time I had it done that I hardly recognised myself but liking the fact that the ginger of my hair was being lost gradually over time. I saw that red hair as an imperfection too and tried to hide it along with everything else.

I then look back at LP, at that same ginger hair, those same eyelashes and that same fair skin and wonder how she could ever see any of her features as anything but perfect. I wonder at what age we start to lose sight of our natural beauty and instead see the perfect images that the media and other people portray, comparing ourselves to those images and turning our features into flaws.

I look at LP, so young, so innocent and so beautiful and it makes me sad to think that she will, without doubt, one day be unhappy with how she looks. For me, I was unhappy with my hair, amongst other things, because I was bullied so relentlessly. LP will probably one day start to compare herself to pop stars or characters in the latest soap. She’ll see the stick thin images in magazines with their drawn on eyebrows, airbrushed skin and, like most girls, will strive to be like them.

I try to show LP that she should be happy as she is, I tell her she’s beautiful often, inside and out, and she will ask if she looks pretty in a certain dress or with her hair a certain way and I always tell her that she looks pretty anyway, even in her PJs and with messy hair. The children don’t often see me putting make up on but even so LP already knows what makeup brushes are for and she will ask me if I’m going to paint my face that day.

I grew up seeing my Mum put on a full face of makeup before leaving the house, even to go to the corner shop or on the school run. She couldn’t have a hair out of place and got up hours before everyone else just to get ready. My Mum wasn’t the things that magazines were made of, she would never have been on a billboard or on TV, but she was my Mum and growing up she was the most beautiful person I had ever seen. She was perfect to me.

We see our parents’ natural beauty as children, and as parents we see our children’s natural beauty every day. It is just a shame that as we grow up we cannot keep sight of our own natural beauty too.

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8 thoughts on “When do we Forget about our Natural Beauty?

  1. I wear makeup maybe twice a year (I actually don’t even know where my – very limited – make up bag even is at the moment!) and I did wonder recently what impact that will have on my kids. Daphne was given a Frozen makeup set for her birthday by my sister (who does wear makeup regularly) and she seems to love it but makeup and hair stuff just don’t really factor into our lives usually. I wouldn’t say I am always happy with the way I look but I’m happy enough not to be bothered about doing anything!

    Also, my makeup skills are terrible. That might have something to do with it too!
    Lauren recently posted…Hello humpday – holidays, halloween and no more spotsMy Profile

  2. A lovely post, and rings so true.
    As a mama to boys I suspect I will view this slightly differently, make up is less likely to play a role in their teenage years! My boys are of course bloody gorgeous, and I do worry how their impression of themselves will change over the years; we’ve already seen the negative response Ethan can get with his birthmarks and scars, thankfully neither he nor Ahren are bothered by them.
    Such a shame that we can see the beauty in others but rarely ourselves.

    I just have to say, bloody love your hair, gorgeous!
    Amanda recently posted…The Simple Things ~ An Afternoon Well SpentMy Profile

  3. I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, I’ve been going through a phase of feeling really gross, loads of spots, dark circles, wrinkles around my eyes etc but I am trying so hard not to let Cherry hear me say anything negative about my appearance because to her I’m perfect and it would send such a wrong message for her to hear me picking faults with how I look. Beauty definitely comes from within and that is one of the main things I hope she takes with her into her adult life. This is a really lovely post x
    Jess @ Along Came Cherry recently posted…Along Came Cherry in BiscuitsMy Profile

  4. Lovely post. I suppose things are slightly different for me as O is a boy, but he still sees me putting on makeup every now and then. I don’t wear any for work unless I have an important meeting, but do regularly at weekends or for gatherings with friends. I also tell O how gorgeous he is, that he’s handsome and a cheeky chappy in the hope that his self confidence will continue to grow. As a young child, I was told by my father that I wasn’t pretty – which is possibly the worst thing a father could say to his daughter. Particularly, I hope Little Pickle embraces her red hair, it’s what makes her (and you) really stand apart from the crowd. x

  5. Thanks for this post Donna, I completely agree with you. Since I turned 30, I have been feeling a bit meh- dark circles, wrinkles and just generally feeling a bit yuck. But I am so aware of having a daughter and trying to tell her that she is beautiful inside and out, I would hate for her to have any sort of image issues. Beauty definitely comes from within and I hope that I can teach her that. x
    Katie @mummydaddyme recently posted…A Child Friendly Weekend In Amsterdam- Part Two.My Profile

  6. I can truly relate to this…a fellow redhead with glasses/contacts who went out of her way to go blond throughout university until I met my husband who persuaded me to go back to my natural hair colour and I’m so glad he did! My LG is fast approaching 2 and I hope that I can instill in her how beautiful she is as a person as she grows up. Lovely post ♡

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