And She's Smart Too
Aug 09, 2012 02:08PM
Kim Carson Bio
Lost in this group of young mothers and rambunctious males was one lone girl. She was a very pretty little girl. I was trying to decide whether she was shy or just overwhelmed with all of the testosterone floating about. We would catch each other’s eye occasionally and she would smile coyly and look down. One of the boy’s mothers said to the little girl, “Oh, you’re such a pretty little girl.” I agreed and added, “And I bet you’re just as smart too!” The little girl’s eyes lit up and she smiled big. I’m guessing it may have been one of the first times in this adorable child’s life that someone commented on more than just her looks. At least it appeared that way to me.
We all finally checked out. The trainee cashier breathed a sigh of relief and I was on my way, heading home. I was reflecting on everything that just happened and it took me back to my own childhood. I remember growing up as a little girl on the east side of Detroit. My mom and I were very close then, just as we are now. We spent a lot of time together and very often people would comment on my looks. My mom always had me dressed in cute little outfits, my hair was curled and life was really good growing up with the parents God gave to me. But as I grew older I noticed something else, every time someone complimented me, my mother would always follow it up with, “Thank you and she’s smart too!” I guess my mom never wanted me to rest on the laurels of outward beauty. I learned it one day when I was sort of basking in the afterglow of a compliment. I said to her, “Mother, you know you don’t have to say that I’m smart.” I believed that being told that I was pretty was more than enough. At the time, I don’t think I ever saw “being smart” as a compliment. Just let me enjoy being told I was pretty.
In the world that I was growing up in, beauty in girls and women was what was of value. I’m not sure much has changed in 2012. But even in my mother’s youth, my mom was wise beyond her years. She realized that there was more to a woman than outward beauty. Think of all the toddler pageants and teen pageants. I’m not sure that placing that much beauty on looks at such a young age is the wisest thing to impart. Sure, pageant mothers and contestants say the children are judged on more than just beauty; there is personality, costume, grace, but take a look at the winners and beauty plays a pretty major role in most any beauty pageant.
The problem I see is if you place your value on outward beauty, when your beauty fades, your value too will fade right along with it. I only realized this and appreciated it, once I could understand it.
So the next time you compliment a little girl on the way she looks, or her hair, or her smile, or her clothes, it might be nice to also reinforce her intelligence in the same way.
Sometimes you can say something to someone and it can make them see themselves differently. So why don’t you open up the world for the next little girl you meet and give her something more to work with than what the rest of society is already telling her. She is more than just a pretty face, beautiful body and a fashionista. She has the capacity to be all of that and more! Sometimes all it takes is for someone to help you conceive, believe, and to achieve.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kim Carson is an author and television/radio/internet personality. You can keep up with all of her adventures at www.FaithHopeAndLoveSongs.com and on facebook at facebook.com/KimCarsonNOW.