Every night as I put Alanna to bed, I tell her a little story like this:
"If they took all the little girls in Las Vegas and made them stand in a long line....some would have blonde hair, and some have brown hair, and some have red hair. Some will have blue eyes, some green eyes, and some brown eyes. I bet they will be tall and short and big and small. If they told me that I could look at all of them and only get to pick one...do you know who I would pick?" Alanna always grins really big and says "Nope, I don't know...who would you pick?" And then I get to tell her that I would pick HER EVERY TIME. It's so much fun and very silly, but it's special.
Last night though, I was telling her how much I love her red hair and her blue eyes and just how beautiful of a little girl she is, when she stopped me and said "But mom, I know it's not true. It's not true when you tell me all that stuff." I was blown away and asked her why. She said that she knows she is not beautiful because a friend of hers told her that her freckles looked like owies on her face. That they weren't cute and just looked like owies. She was so upset about it. My heart just sank. I had no idea that the beauty standards start so young! No four year old girl should have to feel that way. She just knew that her friend was right and that I was wrong. You can barely see her tiny freckles.