Conversations with my daughter

Conversations with my daughter

Girls can be cruel… and adverts, but also girls.

I was in the bath the other day when Mini Me came for a chat. ‘I hope I have a body just like you when I grow up’, she said. I looked down at my odd body, covered in scars from surgeries and missing some of the standard issue kit, and wondered what she meant.

‘I mean, I don’t want to get fat. But I eat a lot of junk, so I’m worried I will.’

I reassured her that she has the body that I had at her age, and I ate a lot of junk too. I urged her not to worry.

She then told me about an incident at school where one of her friends, let’s call her Felicity, asked her to say, who between her and another friend, let’s say Fiona, who was standing right next to her, was the thinnest.

‘Well Mummy, everyone knows it’s Felicity, so what I did, I said it was Fiona, so Fiona didn’t feel bad, but once she left I told Felicity it was her, of course.’

I didn’t quite know what to say… I think I would have struggled with that conundrum. What a brain baffler! As she went to walk out of the bathroom she turned back and said ‘You know Mummy, some people think that fat people are bad… and they are WRONG!’ and she flounced off in her dramatic fashion.

Conversations with my daughter

Conversations with my daughter

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!