I have a beautiful daughter. Like, discovered by a modeling agent while eating a muffin in a coffee shop kinda beautiful. And whenever I share a picture of her, I hear a lot of suggestions to “lock her up!” Let me tell you something folks- would if i could. WOULD IF I COULD!
Sure it sounds a little extreme to lock up an innocent 12 year old child simply because she is dangerously beautiful, but it would certainly make for a better nights sleep. Instead, I have many a sleepless night composing my gentle warnings about growing up gorgeous in a horny world full of pigs who will all too often believe it is their right to oink at her anytime, anywhere. It is terrifying to watch my little girl blossom into a beautiful young woman long before either of us are ready.
It’s not just about inspiring her to find a man worthy of her and as greatful for her kind heart as he is for her knock out looks. While I would love to spare her the aggrivation of wasting time on all of the mr. wrongs, I wouldn’t want to cheat her out of the knowlege that grows from weeding them out. But more importantly (perhaps) I need her to beware of the endless supply of goons who will have the balls to say and do innappropriate things everywhere she goes. The cat calls on the streets, the comments in the workplace, the corny lines from strangers anywhere and everywhere, the rumors from the most pathetic fellas who actually make up stories to boost their egos, her brother’s friends, her girlfriend’s boyfriends, her boyfriend’s friends, her bosses, her teachers, and (brace yourselves) her father’s friends (I know, I get the willies just typing it). I may sound paranoid or extreme, but I too was young and hot once upon a time, and I have seen and heard it all (or at least, more than enough).
While I would like to teach her how to take down every one of these assholes, I don’t want her going through life fighting a battle around every corner. I want to teach her how to roll with it with enough strength and self respect to fend it off. I want her to accept compliments with genuine graciousness and very clear disinterest. I want her to gently tell the corny guy with the corny lines that he’s corny, kindly and for his own good. I want her to go easy on the flirting because an accidental glance in a young boy’s direction will have him convinced that she desperatly wants him. I want her to be vigilante and safe and aware of the dangers lurking around her and to never feel as invincible as i foolishly did once upon a time.
And finally, I want her to recognize the difference between the guy who hit on her because he had nothing to lose, and the guy who had to muster up the courage to talk to her because he feels as though everything is riding on it.
I want her to ooze self respect, confidence and humility in a society that is going to constantly challenge all of those things based on her looks. I want her to learn, very quickly, that she should set her standards high and never settle. I want her to be grateful to be cursed with physical beauty, but to continue to nurture her beautiful soul. I want her to surprise people with how much more she has to offer. And as much as I like to imagine effective daily lectures while she’s locked in a tower for 30 years, I know that the only way for her build that kind of character is to endure the challenges (while I lurk closely in the shadows with my mace).