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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pro-Girl Book Part 4, Best Gift Ever

pg1 7.jpeg


pg1 8.jpeg

Pages from Ainsley, Perfect You, a book I wrote for my daughter. Steal this idea for Christmas, Please!

Subscribe to my RSS feed and/or email subscription. You don't miss the rest of this series.

Steal This Christmas Gift Please, Pro-Girl Book Part 1

Pro-Girl Book Part 2

Pro-Girl Book Part 3

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I want to do this and have 2 Qs for you:

1) the pieces we've seen have been about her appearance, mostly. There are good reasons for this, of course - but I wondered if you also included her talents, skills etc. and also if you referenced her (non-physical) imperfections as something wonderful too?

2) God figures prominently in the book -- for those of us who are less religious, do you have suggestions for how else we could frame these gifts? The miracle of our daughters?

I'm busy brainstorming myself and would love your ideas too.

Tracee said...

Thanks for asking Anonymous,

At the time I wrote this, Ainsley was asking a lot of questions about beauty. Who was beautiful? Was she beautiful? Who decided who was beautiful?

When I deflected the questions with answers like, "beauty isn't important" I felt I lost credibility with her. All evidence suggests that, in fact, beauty is very important. So important that it can effect your job, or your ability to marry and date, or how teachers treat you in a classroom even.

So I wanted her to have power over deciding whether she was beautiful or not.

Much of what we learn about beauty is fed to us by the media.

But we choose whether to appreciate what we see in the mirror or not. We choose to view ourselves as beautiful or ugly. We choose to focus on our attributes or our flaws. If we focus on our flaws there are terrible consequences like eating disorders and body dismorphia.

Have you met anyone who is truly ugly? There are very few people who truly are unpleasant to look at. One day I met a girl who was so pitiful to look at, I felt deep pity and compassion for her.

I thought, how profoundly ungrateful all these other very pretty girls around her sound when they critique all of their minute flaws.

I realized to be self-critical is very ungrateful. It's also a waste of time and emotional energy.

While on the surface these first pages may appear to be about appearance and beauty - but they are so much more.

They are about perception and having the power over creating our own perceptions.

Creating positive perceptions about ourselves in the face of media messages is a crucial life skill for girls today.

Tomorrow the pages go into academics and education issues. Then attributes like fearlessness, bravery, positivity. And yes, some more about God.

You should share your own beliefs about where your daughter came from and how she came to have her personality or attributes.

If you are scientific and believe in survival of the fittest you could talk about the positive genetic traits she shares with you or her father or grandparents. The important thing is to give her a grounding place to which she belongs.

She may have your blue eyes, for instance, and you could share with her how that's a special genetic trait that she can only get when one recessive gene meets another amongst all the other genes. Or her hair is like your mother's and you always thought it was beautiful. Maybe her nose reminds you of your spouses father and it's a proud nose.

Or maybe you don't have a specific idea of where humans come from, but when you look into her face you know there must be some kind of magic to have blessed you with the only daughter who could ever fill your heart the way she does.

I enjoy this line very much and believe it's effective:

"If I were picking daughters off a shelf - I would pick you. Exactly as you are. Some kind of magic in the Universe knew that you were exactly the right daughter for me. I am so lucky"

I've got a million more ideas so feel free to ask.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pro-Girl Book Part 4, Best Gift Ever

pg1 7.jpeg


pg1 8.jpeg

Pages from Ainsley, Perfect You, a book I wrote for my daughter. Steal this idea for Christmas, Please!

Subscribe to my RSS feed and/or email subscription. You don't miss the rest of this series.

Steal This Christmas Gift Please, Pro-Girl Book Part 1

Pro-Girl Book Part 2

Pro-Girl Book Part 3

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I want to do this and have 2 Qs for you:

1) the pieces we've seen have been about her appearance, mostly. There are good reasons for this, of course - but I wondered if you also included her talents, skills etc. and also if you referenced her (non-physical) imperfections as something wonderful too?

2) God figures prominently in the book -- for those of us who are less religious, do you have suggestions for how else we could frame these gifts? The miracle of our daughters?

I'm busy brainstorming myself and would love your ideas too.

Tracee said...

Thanks for asking Anonymous,

At the time I wrote this, Ainsley was asking a lot of questions about beauty. Who was beautiful? Was she beautiful? Who decided who was beautiful?

When I deflected the questions with answers like, "beauty isn't important" I felt I lost credibility with her. All evidence suggests that, in fact, beauty is very important. So important that it can effect your job, or your ability to marry and date, or how teachers treat you in a classroom even.

So I wanted her to have power over deciding whether she was beautiful or not.

Much of what we learn about beauty is fed to us by the media.

But we choose whether to appreciate what we see in the mirror or not. We choose to view ourselves as beautiful or ugly. We choose to focus on our attributes or our flaws. If we focus on our flaws there are terrible consequences like eating disorders and body dismorphia.

Have you met anyone who is truly ugly? There are very few people who truly are unpleasant to look at. One day I met a girl who was so pitiful to look at, I felt deep pity and compassion for her.

I thought, how profoundly ungrateful all these other very pretty girls around her sound when they critique all of their minute flaws.

I realized to be self-critical is very ungrateful. It's also a waste of time and emotional energy.

While on the surface these first pages may appear to be about appearance and beauty - but they are so much more.

They are about perception and having the power over creating our own perceptions.

Creating positive perceptions about ourselves in the face of media messages is a crucial life skill for girls today.

Tomorrow the pages go into academics and education issues. Then attributes like fearlessness, bravery, positivity. And yes, some more about God.

You should share your own beliefs about where your daughter came from and how she came to have her personality or attributes.

If you are scientific and believe in survival of the fittest you could talk about the positive genetic traits she shares with you or her father or grandparents. The important thing is to give her a grounding place to which she belongs.

She may have your blue eyes, for instance, and you could share with her how that's a special genetic trait that she can only get when one recessive gene meets another amongst all the other genes. Or her hair is like your mother's and you always thought it was beautiful. Maybe her nose reminds you of your spouses father and it's a proud nose.

Or maybe you don't have a specific idea of where humans come from, but when you look into her face you know there must be some kind of magic to have blessed you with the only daughter who could ever fill your heart the way she does.

I enjoy this line very much and believe it's effective:

"If I were picking daughters off a shelf - I would pick you. Exactly as you are. Some kind of magic in the Universe knew that you were exactly the right daughter for me. I am so lucky"

I've got a million more ideas so feel free to ask.