Beauty and Society | Exist in Print | Part 3

Beauty in our Society

“The most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or touched, they must be felt.” Helen Keller

Young children love looking at themselves and having their picture taken. They smile when they look in the mirror and gasp “Look at how beautiful I am!” What do you think they mean when they use the word “beautiful”?  I asked my daughter what she meant one day. At the ripe old age of 3, she told me “I’m just happy looking at myself! It makes me feel good inside.”

That made me think about this beauty thing. Do we think beauty or do we feel it?

How beautiful is this drawing?

If I told you that a very young child spent hours designing and drawing this to remind Mummy that she needs to stop being so busy all the time and play –  how beautiful is it now? Where do you feel it? Me, I’m a people watcher and I know where you feel it – it’s written all over our bodies. Our hearts. We clasp at our chests, not out heads. Beauty is a feeling. We see things not as they are, but as we are, making the beauty that we see with our eyes dependent on who we are at our core and we are all beautiful.

So, if this is the place our children start, knowing that beauty is feeling without thinking about it, what happens as they grow? Why does beauty stop being something we naturally feel and become something we think is elusive and fleeting? Sure, we can blame the media, but let’s face it – they wouldn’t even exist in the first place if we didn’t empower them.  I believe that more than any society pressures, WE happen – the Parents, the Family. We start to confuse confidence with arrogance and we pop our children’s bubbles with a big freaking needle thinking it’s better to prepare them for the worst rather than wait for a cruel world to do it. How many times have you heard (or said) “It’s better if you hear it from me….”?

Ipswich Child Photography

What would happen if we didn’t assume the worst? What if we reinforced that bubble to be stronger and our children more self-assured instead? Why not let our children’s heads float in the clouds while we teach them how to root their feet in the earth? Let’s show our children how to find their own strength and own it. Let’s show them the power in looking silly and that the truth is good, all of the time. A lie is a lie and even a white lie is a betrayal to your true self. Be vulnerable, be honest and understand that you don’t need to apologize for everything, but when you do mess up, listen to your heart and own it.

We can show our children by example how to be strong, smart and empathetic humans. Follow your passions, speak your mind, and see your own value because they’ll mirror you.  Remember that how you treat people and how you let people treat you is what she’ll know as normal. Be mindful and intentional about that. This includes how you talk to and about them, yourself and others. And, while it may be difficult sometimes, don’t shy away from hard conversations no matter what they are. Just be honest. It’s a privilege to be the soft landing and the hard message sender. Act like it. You’re their hero.

There’s a ridiculous amount of goodness in our children – they need to hear that. Tell them directly and often and without worrying about spoiling them. Compliments should be given daily and freely and with wild abandon because intelligent conversation should happen daily and with wild abandon. And, perhaps most importantly of all, be their biggest fan. Everyone deserves at least one person in their lives who thinks they make all the stars twinkle in the sky. Fill their heart with the knowledge that you’re that person.

Ipswich Child Photography

If you’re just joining in, you can find Part 1 HERE.

Read on to Part 4 HERE.


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