It’s almost unavoidable. It’s ingrained in us. We don’t even realize we’re doing it. But, think about what you have said when you see a little girl you know. Pay attention next time the occasion arrises. You probably will end up saying one or a few things like You are just so pretty! or What an adorable dress you have on! or Aren’t you the most beautiful little thing! And these statements are all true and come from a caring, positive place, right?
However, we don’t realize just how harmful these statements can be. Not that telling a little girl that she is pretty is an evil thing to do, but in comparison to what you say to a little boy, it leaves a very different impression.
When we see a little boy we may say Wow! You’re so handsome! Followed by How are you today? or What have you been doing in school? See the difference?
But does it really matter?
Yes. It absolutely does.
Our minds don’t usually go to asking a young girl about her interests or hobbies or even just her present well-being. This sends a message to girls that their worth lies with their appearance, and little else. It’s a difficult habit to break because it has become so ingrained in society to focus on the physical appearance of women and young girls. However, the message being sent isn’t ideal at all.
That’s not to say that you should NEVER tell a young girl or woman that she looks beautiful or that you like what she is wearing. But it shouldn’t be the first thing you bring up every time you see her. There is more to her than her hair or her dress or whether or not she is flashing a huge smile that day. Instead, try to make a conscious effort to first ask how she is doing and what she is up to. This sends a message to her that her well-being and goals are valued as much, even more than her appearance.