That’s why I force myself to talk to little girls as follows.

“Maya,” I said, crouching down at her level, looking into her eyes, “very nice to meet you.”

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Congratulations, you made a conscious decision not to pay someone a compliment that they probably would have loved to hear. Where is it written that it’s “correct” to value intelligence over beauty, literature over fashion?

“Nice to meet you too,” she said, in that trained, polite, talking-to-adults good girl voice.

“I LOVE books,” I said. “Do you?”

Now it’s time for the second part, namely how to talk to little boys. I’d love to see an adult start out with something other than, “What sport do you do, Buddy?”

“YES,” she said. “And I can read them all by myself now!”

Just shared this after realizing you nailed it, Lisa Bloom. Excellently said, and btw Lisa, you’ve become a role model for this middle-aged gal! Not too late to learn for any of us who grew up with the traditional way of speaking to little girls, and subsequently did the same…

“Wow, amazing!” I said. And it is, for a five year old. You go on with your bad self, Maya.

Thank you all the friends ands site’s supporters.

So yes, I tell my daughter she is pretty. I tell her she is beautiful when she is dressed up and I tell her she is beautiful when she is covered in mud. Her beauty is something that is part of her, not her clothing. And yes, I admire my son’s appearance as well. Because he is also a cute kid, and because boys develop body dysmorphia too.

I think we have to concentrate on the next generation.

I agree with the direction of the article, but telling someone they look pretty is hardly the reason for people’s over-infatuation with it. I’d say its when people tell you how you should look that develops the problems, not when you tell someone they actually ARE pretty….

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But it would have been so wonderful if either of my parents had ever told me I was pretty. I am extremely pretty when I look at myself in the old photographs, and other people told me so, but my parent — never.

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Short winded response:
Why can you not do both? Be ecstatic over her cuteness and then engage her intellectually? Why is it one or the other?

Don’t know who said it, but it’s true:

I agree that the beauty industry is ridiculous. I agree that the wrong emphasis is placed on children at too young of an age… But my goodness people, give them a fighting chance!!

“You can’t fight beliefs with facts.”

You know what angers me!? 3-6 year old have body image problems because they DO have issues with being over weight! 1 in 3 North American girls are fat! Stop feeding your kids lazy-mom food like Krapdinner, Mc Donald’s, and then plunking them down with snacks and tv all day!! Get active with your kids, feed the wholesome foods and then see what happens to body image statistics!