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May 5 2014

Why I Tell My Daughter She’s Pretty, But Won’t Tell Her She’s Smart

By at 11:36 am

why-i-call-my-daughter-pretty

My 7-year-old daughter who, as we previously determined, is nothing like me in personality, also looks nothing like me. Which is why I can say, without a trace of self-interest, that she is a beautiful girl. She has luxurious black hair, olive skin, huge chocolate colored eyes, eye lashes that go on forever, and a perennial smile on her face–just like her dad. I constantly tell my daughter that she is beautiful. (My brother has dubbed her Beauteous Maximus, in Latin).

I know many beautiful women. Having worked in soap operas since 1994, I’d wager I know more beautiful woman than most people. Every year, around Daytime Emmys time, I would leave the house feeling I looked my very best. I’d get to the venue and wonder why I bothered; I wasn’t in these people’s league. I wasn’t in their species. And yet, a majority of these stunning creatures all think there is something wrong with them. Usually because of a lifetime of hearing from well-meaning people–more often than not, moms and dads set the stage for what agents and casting director and “fans” finish–about how they could really stand to lose five pounds. Or get a nose job. Or straighten their hair. Or wear more make-up/different clothes/stand up straight/smile.

I also know women who would be considered objectively unattractive in the conventional sense. And yet their self-image is amazing. Because no one ever told them otherwise. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 10 2012

Being Positive Sorta Sucks

By at 1:19 pm

debbie downerAs a writer, I’m criticized all the time. By editors, by other writers who know they could have said it better, by readers, and by those who didn’t even bother reading, but are pretty sure I’m wrong anyway.

As a mom, I am criticized all the time, too. This isn’t the kind of dinner I like. The bathwater is too hot. Ow, you’re pulling my hair! You skipped my favorite part of the story! Other kids’ parents do their homework for them… Now the bath water is too cold! Read the rest of this entry →

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