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When my daughter was young, I endeavored to make certain she would not be focused on her appearance. I regularly told her how smart or creative or well-behaved she was. I purposely did not tell her she was pretty (and she was beautiful!) — plenty of other people told her she was pretty — or so I thought. Evidently she needed to hear that she was pretty from her mom, too. She grew up to be very unsure of her appearance. She is now a beautiful mother of equally beautiful twin three-year olds. Knowing what we know now, we both make certain to tell her daughters they are smart, creative, well-behaved AND beautiful.
But don't just take our word for it.
Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.
I read the Lord of the Rings at the age of 5. Plenty of my peers were reading well above age level (though not necessarily LOTR) and could have handled something like Purpalicious with relative ease, especially after a few readings, as a favourite book.
Hold that thought for just a moment.
There are endless factors to consider when deciding what college is the right fit. So while your parents may have strong opinions on why thier alma mater may be "the one," you may have another incentive for considering it - legacy scholarships.
That’s why I force myself to talk to little girls as follows.
Whether you are a member of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Navy, there are a number of college scholarships and grants available for service members, veterans and their families.
“I LOVE books,” I said. “Do you?”
Prestigious scholarships are known on a national, and often, on an international level. Winning prestigious scholarships not only cover college expenses, but are phenomenal for resumes and future references.
“YES,” she said. “And I can read them all by myself now!”
Not every student is fated to find wild success in the world of academia; however, there are plenty of scholarships for students who will succeed in the real world.
“What’s your favorite book?” I asked.
For women that give, we want to give back. There are scholarships for mothers interested in competing in the corporate world and the like, and going back to school is a viable option.
“I’ll go get it! Can I read it to you?”
Students with unusual talents and interests often find themselves uniquely suited to art scholarships, creative scholarships, and many others that require "special" talents.