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I have thought these same thoughts for a very long time. As I think about it more, I wonder if parents (moms) may be subconsciously contributing to this when they dress their daughters up all fancy and focus so much on their hair and other outward stuff. I am not suggesting that we should put girls in “boys’ clothes,” but maybe give them more freedom in choosing their own clothes. We might be surprised at what they choose.
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I don’t know, I was told as a girl that I was smart as well as pretty. I feel like they both should be complemented. To not hear that you are pretty can be as damaging as not hearing that you are smart. When it comes to little boys, many will comment how cute or handsome they look, as well as their intelligence and for the most part, they turn out fine. I understand where you all are coming from, but why should we take those compliments away just because the child is a girl?
It’s so important to teach a girl that it’s not only okay to be smart, but to be proud of it. When I was in college, I clearly remember not telling new guys I met that I was at an Ivy League college because I grew up with the perception that smart girls were somehow less attractive…we really need to make sure our daughters don’t grow up thinking that too!
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So true…I have the most beautiful 5 year old. Everywhere we go people always make comments on how beautiful she is and she even has been asked to do modeling and commercials. I wish people would stop because she has become vain. Everytime someone gives a compliment we remind her to say to the people, “But more important, I am very smart!” People look at us weird and I wish they would realize how unconstructive their comments are. She is really smart though and is already reading 2 years above her age level. We really focus on that. Also when we do give compliments, it is very specific to either the action she did.
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So very true. I feel that the idea of ??treating children more equally, whether they are boys or girls, has turned since I grew up in the 1970s. It’s not that I want us to make girls into boys and vice versa, but today the understanding of how a boy and a girl should “be”, is just too narrow. We are back in the 1950´s and 1960´s…
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Just a thought….while I do agree with you in some ways …I feel that telling a little girl that she is beautiful (just the way she is) sends a message as well. I started by telling my Granddaughter ….”You are beautiful. You are kind. You are smart. You are important. ” just like in the movie The Help! Little boys as well as little girls should have that confirmation to give them the self-esteem they need to carry on in this world. Telling someone they are pretty or beautiful is just what some people need. I would however, stress the smart, kind, important as well. Then continue with the books or special talent they might have….like dance, gymnastics or soccer.
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I love getting a mani and pedi. My hair annoys the crap out of me most of the time so I let it air dry curly but occasionally I straighten it or do those “perfect” curls with my wand. And makeup I wear for work, sometimes to class, out on special dates but really I don’t feel the need to wear it and I think I look pretty good without it. Of course, I look great with it too!
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Wow, I obviously came to this article a few years late but I think it’s awesome. I’m getting to the point now where I’m thinking about having kids, and it’s such a huge deal to teach little girls that their value isn’t based on their appearance. Growing up my sister and I were cute little girls and we would get compliments all the time, but nobody was as impressed as the day I spelled Mississippi all by myself at a family birthday party. I still remember the feeling, and I want that for my kids. Thanks for the reminder!