Found at Reddit’s Parenting site.
I’m 34, my husband is 36, we’ve been married 6 years, together 11, and have 1 child – our 9 year old daughter. I’m Caucasian, my husband is Native American.
As our daughter matures, and believe me, I hate myself for saying this, please don’t lambast me, it just is a logical fact, she’s very physically unattractive. She got the worst traits of both my husband and I. His wide set eyes and strong nose, most of his facial bone structure, actually, my stocky build and curly hair, her skin tone is pretty much right between mine and his.
Neither my husband or I are models, but I think we’re average looking to slightly above, like most people. We have some favorable features and unfavorable features, also like anyone. Some may find us unattractive, some may not, but it just is what it is.
But our daughter, though physically normal, honestly looks like she has some sort of disability. So much so we had her tested. She doesn’t. One doctor, who was filling in for our regular doctor when DD fell and her arm, when explaining to us how to help her wear a splint for what was, thankfully, just a moderate sprain, said “When a child has Down’s syndrome….”
She doesn’t have Down’s syndrome.
Another tried to refer us to a craniofacial specialist because she thought our daughter had Apert Syndrome.
We tell our daughter she’s beautiful, because she IS beautiful. She’s funny, generous, compassionate – she’s the kid that’s always rescuing stray kittens and putting bugs back on leaves. We were out for ice cream once and a boy she didn’t even know dropped his cone and started crying. His parents yelled at him and said that was it, they didn’t have money for another one. When my daughter got her cone, she walked over and handed it to this boy. She has her moments, like any 9 year old, but she has a kind heart like nothing I’ve ever seen in a child so young, and phenomenal insight and empathy for others. We love her dearly, and she IS a beautiful person. I wouldn’t want any other child, even if I could have the most physically beautiful child on earth.
But the facts are still what they are. She’s not attractive. Of course we don’t ever, EVER even allude to this. We try to help her make the most of what she has, constructively. We let her choose her own clothing for the most part, but it’s “Which shirt do you like better? This one, or this one?” and try to choose colors and cuts that flatter her body and complexion. We aren’t strict about it, she of course has a few things that I cringe when she puts them on, like any child, but we try to dress her well and right for her age and body.
I generally style her hair, because she has my hair exactly. Over the years I’ve learned what works best. But she’s now to the age that she wants to wear the styles her friends wear, and do her hair herself, with very mixed results.
And, as she gets older, kids have begun to notice her looks. Some have made rude comments. A couple kids in the park have asked “Why does that girl look that way?” to their parents.
I feel beyond awful that I feel this way. But, because she is such a wonderful person inside, it hurts me the more that her peers won’t see past her physical appearance. And, may god strike me dead for saying this, I’d almost rather she DID have a disability or chromosomal disorder. Then there would be an explanation for the way she looks other than just “bad genetic luck”.
I confided in a good friend and she told me that she might grow into her looks. I guess that’s possible. I hope she will.
But, I just don’t know how first, handle my feelings about the fact that my child isn’t physically attractive. It’s hard to reconcile with how much I love her, and what a wonderful person she is. I wish I could look at her and see physical beauty too, but I just… can’t. I cry about it, a lot. She just has such a wonderful heart and personality, it was like god (define that how you will) could only let her have one type of beauty. And I’d rather have her be a good hearted person more than anything else. But life will be hard for her and she doesn’t deserve that. I just don’t know how to NOT feel guilty that I don’t think my own child is adorable and gorgeous.
And two, how can I help her look HER best? How do I answer the “am I pretty mommy?” questions?
Just… please don’t hate me. I hate myself enough as it is. I just want to help my daughter grow to be a healthy, happy young woman, and not let her appearance get in the way of letting the world know what a wonderful person she is.