Tag Archives: letter to my daughter

A Letter to My (future) Daughter

Last week I shared with you a letter a father wrote his daughter about the pressures of growing up in this “better be perfect looking or else” culture we live in today when “perfection” is just a wave of the mascara wand away.

I gave myself the challenge to write a letter to my future 13-year-old daughter on how to relish life, though I’m not even close to knowing “it all.” Here we go!

daughterDear (future) daughter of mine,
Hey Lovely, in life there will be challenges and difficulties (like puberty), celebrations and triumphs (like acing that math test), but all of those lessons learned and victories won are moments that shape your You. A life puzzle… of sorts.

Here are my top 5 (so far) things you should know:

ONE: Become a Thunkie
Or a thinking junkie. Your brain is beautiful, use it! Show your personality, communicate your dreams. Soak up all the knowledge from not only the classroom, but also life’s experiences. Pick up a book, a real one…smell the pages, have your eyes scroll across the serif text, learn something of value. Because in the end your brain is your most valuable tool, though sometimes you’ll wish it would shut up so you can follow your heart.

TWO: Don’t Believe Everything You Read (and watch)
The 10 Ways to Get Every Man to Want You”
“5 Days to Flawless Skin”
“The Get Toned by Tuesday Workout.”
All of the above could have (and no doubt have) been headlines for the women teen magazine, Cosmopolitan. Don’t believe the hype, I admittedly tried the 10 ways… didn’t work. Flawless skin? I’ll keep my laugh lines, thank you. And you can never get toned by Tuesday, ever. Also those models and celebs on the cover, they’re photoshopped to have beaming sun-kissed skin and the perfect hourglass shape.
In life many things are based around appearance, influenced by marketers. In today’s (2014) culture there’s a high value on appearance. For women we’re told to be younger, thinner, and more natural by caking on make-up.
Today, were even lacking in powerful female characters in TV/movies and even in real life. In the off chance a woman of power like former secretary of state for the Obama administration Hillary Clinton,  is in the news she’s labeled as a “bitch” or “bossy” and often critiqued more on her appearance than her work. Bet you didn’t’ know you were getting a culture history lesson, did ya?
Lovely, if people call you “bossy,” shoot them a warm smile and reply “thanks,” you’ll catch them completely off guard leaving you to bask in your Thunkie glory.

THREE: Always Believe Your Mother
I know, I know you’re like “mommmmm, seriously?” Dead. Deal with it. As you grow and mature you’ll be thanking me one day, as I did my own mother (yup, tastes like vinegar). However, I’m not going to silver platter these “told you sos,” some you’ll have the privilege of learning on your own. Like, social media. Just know what happens on social media is being collected by the Library of Congress and will no doubt come back to spook you during that important job interview. Which is why you shouldn’t put up a fight when I say you have to be in college before your granted the responsibility of running your own reputation on the wild, wild web.

FOUR: You Only Live Once
This has been my life motto since I was 12, until Drake went and ruined it with his overplayed tune. Even my screen name was “ulive1” on AIM (which was basically text messaging via the Internet). Anywho! Please remember that this life is precious. You only get one shot to make the most of it. Everyday is a blessing. Don’t drink and drive. Do travel. Don’t speed. Do work hard because it will pay off. Don’t worry too much. Do dance around your room and Do and ask your mother to join you.

FIVE: Be Vibrant, Be You
Be strong, be steadfast, be giving. Take responsibility of your happiness. Dismiss those who prove toxic on your well-being leaving room for others that paint your world in positivity and love. Positive thinking is powerful and how you view yourself affects how others, in all aspects of your life, view you. So make the promise to yourself—you deserve it—because you are beautiful, because you are you

Be the best You, you deserve it and so does the world!

With all the XOs,

What are some life lessons you would share in a letter to your future child or current sister, cousin, friend? Share in the comments!




Where Are You Most Beautiful?

What if I asked you, “where are you most beautiful?” What would be your response?

For father and Clinical psychologist, Dr. Kelly Flanagan he wants his “Little One” to always know where her beauty exists: on the inside.

bonus points if you notice what's similar about these covers.

bonus points if you notice what’s similar about these covers.

Dr. Flanagan wrote a letter to his 4-year-old little girl on his blog about the oppressive language that’s seen up and down the make-up aisle of retail stores (and on the covers of magazines.) These words having staying power, power that grabs you by the throat and shakes you while saying (subconsciously) you’re not beautiful if you’re not “ageless,” “zit-free,” or “flawless.” (also see: clean.clear.and under control.)

He points out that after having a daughter he started to realize she’s just as strong and a force in this world to be reckoned with. She has the same gifts, potential and passions as any man. High-five, Daddio! Observing the words listed in the packaging of the make-up aisle many people, including her, won’t view her as someone that is fully capable of greatness, instead she will be thought of as a play thing or just a pretty face to gawk at. Society, you’re rude.

In his letter, father Flanagan (nope, not a priest, but it does have a nice ring to it) didn’t change the words marketers use, but instead gave them a new meaning, a better meaning. He redefined the make-up aisle.

Here are my favorite redefines:

Brilliant strength. May your strength be not in your fingernails but in your heart. May you discern in your center who you are, and then may you fearfully but tenaciously live it out in the world.

Infallible. May you be constantly, infallibly aware that infallibility doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion created by people interested in your wallet. If you choose to seek perfection, may it be in an infallible grace—for yourself, and for everyone around you.

Choose your dream. But not from a department store shelf. Find the still-quiet place within you. A real dream has been planted there. Discover what you want to do in the world. And when you have chosen, may you faithfully pursue it, with integrity and with hope.

He ends the letter with reminding his “Little One” that when she gets older and perhaps may want to wear make up, she should never forget where she is most beautiful: on the inside.

This letter truly touched me and I think more fathers, mothers, and overall people should take the time to dissect the beauty veil and how it impacts young girls/women psyches. I have found so much inspiration from Dr. Flanagan that next week I will be writing a letter to my own (unborn) daughter and posting it here.
In the meantime, I’m curious what life lessons you would include in your own letter to your child? Leave these nuggets ‘o wisdom in the comments!