parents

"She says she only wants her daughter to be pretty. I almost agree."

This is what she wants for her daughter. Above all else. Sigh.

What do you want for your kids? Success? Love? A good education?

Or do you just want them to be smoking hot? To rock out their Year 12 formal gown like no other girl in that room? To wow the other parents when they get the class photo?

Want do you want above all else for your daughter?

You think I am speaking in jest right? No one could possible have ‘good looks’ as the top of their wish list for their daughter’s life, could they?

Well yes.

And one brave mother has written about it to prove it.

British mother Polly Phillips has told The Daily Mail that her number one goal for her 11-month old daughter is that she is pretty.

“While we all want what’s best for our daughters, few of us are brave enough to face the reality that more attractive people tend to do better in life,” she wrote.

“And more importantly, that even, wave after wave of feminism later, women still worry about their looks more than anything else.”

She says that studies have shown attractive people get paid more and get ahead further in life.

“Being born beautiful breeds an innate sense of confidence and self-worth that equip you to deal with the ups and downs of growing up.”

She says, “Who can honestly say that, were it under their control, they wouldn’t want their daughter to be pretty too?”

That “beauty is [the] most important attribute for her daughter.”

Polly Phillips and her husband. ( Facebook.)

While her words make me want to go find that other “earth-like” planet Nasa discovered last week and see if we women get a better deal over there, I can, sadly, see where she is coming from.

Even if I don’t quite agree.

She’s right, we all want the best for our kids.

She’s right that if there was a mysterious god-like creature looming above me in the delivery suite while I  was screaming for more-bloody-happy-gas-now asking me to choose whether I wanted a baby with ogre-type looks or the cute one, who wouldn’t say the cute one?

But she is wrong in her belief that being beautiful makes you happy. Sadly I know plenty of genetically blessed individuals whose lives are, frankly, pretty shit.

Just a look through history shows us that being beautiful or desirable doesn’t guarantee happiness, and to think so is naïve.

Model Cameron Russell admits she won the “genetic lottery” but says it doesn’t always make her happy. (Post continues after video.)

Polly Phillips says that she believes deep down that most people agree with her but that she is the only one brave enough to say it.

Well, no there IS someone else brave like you Polly.

Someone else who “just wants to be pretty”.

Someone else with whom I fight on a daily basis to show her, to prove to her that there is more to life than ice blue dresses and sparkly crowns.

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My four-year old daughter.

Shauna and her daughter.

You see my daughter, who to me is the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen, has already succumbed to the desire to have what Polly Phillips promises will give everlasting success. My daughter already wants to be pretty.

She wants long golden hair like Elsa’s and high heels that click when she walks. She wants to wear red “paint” on her lips when she gets married and she worries about the lack of ring on my finger.

“Did no one want to ‘do marry’ with you Mama? she asks. Weren’t you pretty enough?”

My apricot-haired daughter pulls her new glasses from her face – ones that are desperately needed to correct her left eye which refuses to see – and tells me they are ugly.

She sucks in her rounded little girl tummy after her bath and stands dripping on the mat squealing with delight at being tickled while I dry her and exclaims that she ate too much dinner and is “fat.”

My little daughter doesn’t need mothers like Polly Phillips to force the standards and stereotypes of beauty upon her  – she already has the whole of society doing it. In every movie she sees, in every doll she desires, on every street, in the way that the world talks to her, in the way she is perceived.

She is four and SHE wants to be pretty.

This is my daughter, Emme, and I just want her to be happy. Boring huh?

What I believe is that as her mother it’s my job to want more than that for her, to teach her to want more for herself and from the moment she was born I did.

Polly Phillips is wrong.

I for one do not want prettiness as the “most important attribute” for my daughter.

Above all else what I want is simpler than good looks. Happiness. Boring isn’t it?

I wish for her a life filled with laughter and joy. I wish for her the happiness you get by fulfilling her dreams whether they be love, a career, or that giddy feeling you get when you walking into an airport about to fly to a new land.

I wish for her the warm glow of happy contentment you get from true friendships. I wish for her happiness in falling in (or out of love), happiness in just being herself.

That’s what I wish above all else.

“Pretty” is nothing compared to all that.

What do you think of a mother’s wish for her child to just be pretty? Is she right will it guarantee success?

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