"To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself."
— Thich Nhat Hanh
It was not difficult to teach my daughter the meaning of the word "beautiful." In fact, I don’t remember teaching it to her. One day she turned to me and said "Mommy, you look beautiful today!" Talk about heart-melting. But I know one day beauty will begin to change meaning for my girls and take on a caveat here, an addendum there. She already seems to understand that looking "pretty" takes time and patience, and she routinely requests two french braids even though the process causes her discomfort and some missed playtime. As someone who rarely takes longer than five minutes to apply makeup, if I wear it at all, I find it intriguing that she is such a "beautiphile," and I have no doubt from whom she inherited the trait (he hem, hubster).
I want for my girls to see beauty as the rule rather than the exception. Because I know that the best way to teach a behavior is to be a good role model, I’m working on my own definition of beauty and learning to accept myself for who I am.