I recently watched one of those pageant shows with my daughters for a specific reason. I waited until the little girls came on screen plastered in make-up and hairspray before I turned to my daughters and told them something they need to know:
Those girls do not look a fraction as beautiful as you do when you throw your head back and let the happiness in while the laughter comes out.
I'd rather sit and hear the thoughts in your great mind than see you parade in a thousand gowns.
I would never feel as proud of you standing on a stage as I do when I see you kneeling in prayer.
Those girls... those girls.... those girls.
Those girls are beautiful and precious and creative and I wish someone would wrap their arms around them and tell them that nothing they wear can make them more lovely than they already are.
No routine they practice is as wonderful or humorous as the spontaneity of youth.
No crown they wear will make them any more royal and special than they already are.
If I could tell my daughters one thing about beauty it would be the same thing my father told me when I was a young woman and we didn't have money for the right brands or fancy beauty salons.
He said, "There are a lot of things that money can buy. But it can't buy class. It can't buy poise. You have both and it makes you more beautiful than you know."
Thank my loving God for a wonderful Dad.
I look at these faces, I look at all the faces of all the little girls and it makes me sick and sad that someday they will pinch their thighs and wonder if they look "hot."
They will pout their lips and wonder if they are "sexy" enough.
My dear, sweet, powerful, intelligent girls- do not believe the cruel lies that surround you. Let your crown of beauty be your kindness and integrity and resourcefulness.
If someone cannot love you for your smile, your guts, and your creativity then they don't have the right to love you at all.
Oh, I hope enough brave girls band together, support one another and reject the world's counterfeit definition of beauty.
I hope they see themselves like their mothers see them- beautiful miracles.