My daughter is seven.
As we were making paper stars the other day she said to me:
‘Mummy, I don’t get this. Why do One Direction say “You don’t know you’re beautiful, that’s what makes you beautiful”?’
I replied: ‘You’re right poppet, it doesn’t make any sense.’
This message, the idea that the way to be beautiful must involve a level of insecurity, modesty, self unassurance, maddens me. She is too young to explain it all to her and certainly the words patriarchy and misogyny would float over her head.
She finished with: ‘How can someone not know they’re beautiful? I know I’m beautiful’.
Which I found most satisfying, but also mindful of the words of Caitlin Moran in Moranifesto:
‘When you’re little you can be “I love my dress! I’m beautiful!” Then a day comes where all your friends are like, “Don’t you know that’s not okay?” When you get a compliment now you must be like, “No! I’m fat and hideous!”‘
So I’m going to keep my eye on her. And give 1D a piece of my mind when I meet them. Even Niall! You boys should know better!