"Pleasing to the eye; felicity, especially of appearance; graceful or balanced structure; aesthetic perfection."(Webster's Dictionary) These are the definitions Webster gives for the word beauty....
When I was growing up, it was my mum who spoke constantly about weight and how ‘fat’ she was and my younger sister and brother used to play at the gym while she exercised, so I stopped eating lunch and nearly all meals from grade one incase I got fat. She also used to say how beautiful she was, and EVERYONE used to tell me what an angel and how beautiful my sister was and they wished they had girls like her. No one ever mentioned looks to me. As we got older, EVERYONE would constantly go on about how stunning, intelligent and funny my sister was and so I became withdrawn and shy feeling so ugly. It was never magazines but people that made me feel ugly by ignoring me.
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I love hearing stories like yours. Not that any one should have to go through what you went through but that you learned from and overcame the negative behaviour that influenced you in your formative years. I think one of the main reasons I avoided body image issues is because not once in my entire childhood did I ever witness my mother say anything negative about herself, physically or otherwise. Seeing the people you look up to love themselves makes an enormous difference. Your daughter is very lucky.
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Every little girl is beautiful because yes you are looking at her physical outward appearance but inside of her she’s got a beautiful heart, a beautiful brain, a beautiful soul, etc. I understand that some people put way too much emphasis on the beauty and not enough on the brains but I don’t think it’s right to separate them. And I am a person who thinks that everyone is beautiful. Literally.
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Yes beauty is important to me. Yes looking good is important to me. Is it the end all be all? HECK NO. I work out to be healthy. I like to shower and dress nicely because I don’t like it when I stink and I like to match and wear things I like.
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I’m just saying, I was a cute kid and I’ve always been a little socialite so I got compliments like that all the time. I didn’t get the media crap telling me that I had to wear makeup and dress perfectly with the fashion at the time to look beautiful. I had my parents, especially my dad, who told me I looked beautiful ALL THE TIME.
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Bravo! I read purplicious to my 3 year old tonight followed by Its Ok To Be Different. Raising young girls at 3 already has glimmers of things I just want to throw my arms around them and protect them from. I do tell my daughter how brave she is instead of pretty. Now she tells me how brave she is. They listen and believe and become.
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I think these girls need a balance of both. When I was growing up my daddy told me every day that I was beautiful. He still does. He told me I was beautiful when I woke up in the morning, if I was dressed up, and if I ran in from the backyard with my “grass, dirt, and worm salad”! I loved dresses and dolls and barbies and I loved riding bikes with my brothers and yes I loved mud like a little pig. Mud and I were best friends. However, I was not allowed to 1) paint my nails 2) wear any sort of make up 3) dye my hair 4) listen to indecent music 5) watch any TV shows besides PBS or Veggie Tales.