My daughter has been, for whatever reason, lamenting the fact that she is THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD with an outie bellybutton. I'm not sure exactly how this bit of information has suddenly come to the forefront of her consciousness. Comparison tests in the locker room while changing for gympa? She is the only person in our family, at least, but I hardly think that warrants wailing and despair at her extreme other-ness. To stem the angst, I promised I would conduct a poll of my friends and acquaintances online so I'm asking you: innie or outie?
Her outie is, I think, the result of a rather botched umbilical tie-off, but I think it's cute. It's a little button in the middle of her darling little tummy. She seems to be fixating more and more on her appearance lately, something I keep trying, with a rather decided lack of success, to head off at the pass. Her feet are "ugly", her hair is "bushy", she's "not cute". When I ask where she is hearing this, who she is hearing it from, her answers are evasive. She's certainly not hearing it from us, and frankly, I don't think that it can all be credited to sibling affection in the form of regular teasing from her brother.
It's weird to me, because she's so very much a tomboy in so many ways, that this very feminine affliction would be bothering her at the relatively tender age of nine and a half. Isn't that early for self-image introspection? Are they really growing up THAT fast? It's scary to think that she's already aware of the way she looks and that it CONCERNS her. I know things start young nowadays, but I was hoping we had a few more years leeway.
Her emotions swing from the wildest high to a crashing low, one moment to the next. It's never dull around her, that's for sure. Giving her a compliment can send her spiraling with joy and an off-hand, teasing comment can be completely misconstrued and agonized over to the point of tears. This tough kid of mine has paper-thin skin apparently, and she's already learning about what gets through it. She's weighing and measuring and considering every angle and aspect of her revelation of self. Comparison is just a part of that process, but it's a scarily important part that can have repercussions for years, depending upon which side she comes down on herself.
As someone who has never considered herself much of a beauty, and who frankly, hasn't given much of a hoot EVER for make-up or hairstyles (no need with Barky on the job!), I'm not at all sure I'm equipped to deal with this beyond frequent and honest applications of love and affirmation. What your MOM thinks of how you look, when you're young, has no bearing on reality. It's just your MOM and she's biased, right? Of course she's beautiful to me, she thinks, I HAVE to say that. But my lord, it's true. She's so beautiful! When beauty is blossoming in a healthy glow and crackling energy and funny faces and a boundless capacity for affection, how could I NOT think she was beautiful? How could anyone, including her, ever think otherwise?
Kitcheny Cookery Bakery Bookery Birthday Wishes to brief_therapy!