Fall From Cute

God – how we set little girls up for the inevitable fall from cute. From the time the pink name card is displayed in the hospital nursery, their role description is clear. We love to frame their lives in pink, in ruffles, in sweet. Why do we yield so completely to this ritual? “So cute.” “So pretty.” It’s the first thing – and often the only thing – that warrants comment from every adult she meets. After all, we couldn’t say “you’re so smart,” could we? We can’t see smart so we applaud what we can see.

Of course this attention to cute finds its way into a young girl’s sense of who she is – of why she feels valued.

But get beyond the cute stage and into awkward, or into utilitarian haircuts (they have to be ready for school after all) or the gender-neutral apparel of primary school – and what happens? Adults’ eyes no longer show excitement. “But hey I’m good at math.” Great. We really mean that – but our delight is now tempered, logical. How can they get back to that magic feeling?

The media will show them how. Instead of living for families’ eyes to light up, they now look to the broader community for approval. Hot becomes the new cute.

I’m wondering how many of you have faced that fall in your daughters. What can we all do to change the situation?

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