"My skirt isn't sparkly," she sobbed. "I won't be beautiful."
I quickly searched my mental files for how best to handle this - ignore it & continue readying ourselves or stop for a teachable moment. I opted for the latter.
"Big girl... Do you know what truly makes your outfit sparkly?" I asked.
She looked at the floor, then me, & responded curiously, "No."
"Your spirit makes you sparkly - when you're friendly, generous, adventurous, happy,... That makes you beautiful big girl."
This resolution seemed to calm her in that moment, & we still revisit the concept from time to time.
* * * * *
I recently began a challenge called Project 333 (www.TheProject333.com) - the concept of a wonderful simplicity writer named Courtney Carver. In short, you only utilize 33 items in your wardrobe for 3 months. For more specifics, please check the website.
"Why?" You may ask. "What's the point?"
I was raised to be a shopper - a bargain hunting fashionista. I consumed mountains of magazines selling clothes & accessories that would make me beautiful & attractive. Subconsciously, my self image & my clothing became intertwined.
As I become more confident in my true self, I realize that fancy outfits, kick butt shoes, & designer labels have absolutely nothing to do with true beauty & attractiveness.
My spirit makes me sparkly - my friendliness, my generosity, my sense of adventure, my attitude,...
I make my clothes. My clothes don't make me.
Therefore, I can wear the same 33 items repeatedly in different ways, & it shouldn't make any difference whatsoever.
My wish for my daughter (& myself) is to not equate self worth with the material that covers our spirit. It took me 33 years to grasp this concept so she has a 29 year head start thank goodness ;^)