Last week my 4yo got dressed in an outfit she likes. I can’t remember exactly what colour combination and which styles were combined, but she looked ace. She always does.
She chooses her own clothes. She chooses her own combinations. They are usually nowhere near what I would choose and I adore that. Socks are not allowed to match and she proactively un-matches them.
On this occasion she got dressed, and then said to me ‘I’m pretty now, aren’t I mum? I’m pretty in this outfit.’
I responded by telling her that she is always pretty, always beautiful. She asked why. The why wasn’t a lack of confidence in her appearance as much as a default reaction, but I still feel it’s an important question to take seriously and answer properly.
And so I explained the difference between pretty and fancy, and the difference between pretty and smart. I told her that she looks wonderful regardless of what she wears, but that there are times we want to look smarter (for work) or fancy (for a party) and so choose to wear different clothes to normal.
She understood. And accepted it. But I confess to that statement feeling like it hit me in the stomach for more than a moment.