Yes, we know she’s beautiful

Zoe is beautiful. I know this. But even though it’s true, it’s starting to get a little annoying that we hear it so much.

I know this probably sounds silly to some people, but the reason it bothers me is that people say it so much because she’s Asian and because she’s “different.” I’ve wondered if I’m being too sensitive, but it’s really just started to get under my skin. I asked Christian about it last night, and he said it’s started to bother him too. I mean, we hear it A LOT.

I’m not just talking about the people who say, “What a beautiful little girl,” or “She’s a cutie,” and then move on (even though it’s slightly annoying that I know we hear this far more than we would if she was Caucasian). I’m talking about people who swoon over Zoe. They make a REALLY BIG DEAL about it. They say how beautiful she is over and over until it becomes obnoxious.

I’ve had people tell me that Noah is cute, but not like this. At first I thought maybe it was just the difference of having a boy and a girl and that girls just get more attention, but that’s not it. This is an example of a recent conversation at a party:

Woman: “She is so beautiful. What a beautiful little girl.”
Me: “Thank you.”
Woman: “No, I mean it. She is just so beautiful. Gorgeous. She’s so petite and she has those delicate little features.”
Me: “Yes, thank you” as I walk away.

She finds me 10 minutes later.
Woman: “Tracy, she is just beautiful. She’s so pretty.”
Me: “Yes, thank you.”
Woman: “No, seriously, she is SO beautiful.”
Me: “Yes she is. Thank you” as I walk away.

She found me again 5 minutes later, and then 15 minutes after that. She just would not leave us alone. AN.NOY.ING. (Although I have to admit it wasn’t as bad as the woman who told Kelly, “I mean seriously, your daughter is so f@^*ing cute.” I’ve had people stress to me how adorable Zoe is, but they’ve never cursed at me while doing it.)

The worst is when someone says, “She’s just like a little China doll.” I have heard this a few times. First, she’s not from China. Second, she’s not a doll or an object to be desired or adored. She’s an actual living human child who talks, smiles, laughs, screams, eats, poops, and picks her nose.

What I love is when someone comments about my “beautiful children” or my “beautiful family.” That’s a true compliment.


P.S.: I’m going to have to be careful that all of the attention doesn’t go to Zoe’s head as she gets older. My mom told me that I was beautiful all the time when I was little. So, when complete strangers would say, “You’re a beautiful little girl,” I would reply, “I know.” I mean, my mom said it all the time, so I knew it was true! My mom had to explain modesty to me very quickly. 🙂

P.P.S.: I also don’t want Zoe to just hear that she is beautiful. Whenever I tell her she’s pretty or she’s beautiful, I make it a point to tell her she’s strong and smart, too. Similarly, I will follow my friend Rachel’s example and tell my daughter that “princesses” are smart, that they go to college, and that they don’t need princes to “save” them.


11 thoughts on “Yes, we know she’s beautiful

  1. First, I know exactly what you mean. I HATE when people objectify my kids, even in a seemingly harmless way. It makes me fear the future when they are teens and young adults. No doubt they will have to work twice as hard to overcome stereotypes just to prove themselves as equals to their peers.

    Secondly…Zoe is PRECIOUS. And you know I mean that in an honest-to-goodness way. 🙂

  2. It is so annoying! I know that our daughters are precious and I know that people mean well, but I also know that the majority of the attention that Lucy gets is because she is Asian. It is going to be really hard when they are older. I also make the comment all of the time that Lucy is going to be so conceited. I am waiting for the day that she replies, “I know I am cute.” It will be pretty funny though.

  3. Jaob gets alot of attention & I consider it an unusual amt of attention about how cute he is and this & that. It actually scares me! I am afraid some one will try to take him or something…. so needless to say I am like a mother hen when it comes to him…. look..don’t touch…or I will peck your hand off!
    Hee hee

  4. Well, I don’t have kids so I have never experienced this sort of thing, but it has to be annoying. By the way, Zoe is a cutie, Noah is handsome, and they have wonderful parents- yep, I would say that constitutes a beautiful family!

  5. One of my friends adopted 2 kids from VN. He shared with me a few weeks ago that they took their kids to the grocery, people looked at them and asked that “you cannot have kids?” Oh boy, it is hurt.

  6. I also know exactly what you mean. Many times, both of my daughters will be standing side by side and people fall all over themselves, going on and on, just as you described, to compliment my Chinese daughter’s beauty or cuteness factor, while my other daughter stands there listening. Sometimes I feel like screaming, “THE PLAIN WHITE ONE IS GORGEOUS TOO, YOU KNOW!” LOL. She really is a beautiful girl, but I fear she’s developing a little complex about her sister constantly being singled out.

    BTW, both of your kids really are cuties.

  7. When someone makes a comment about Zoe, I usually try to answer with something about Noah if he’s there too. I say something like, “Thank you. She’s a year-and-a-half, and Noah is only ten months older.”

  8. VB-
    We get that sometimes too. When they see Noah they say, “You didn’t want to have any more kids of your own?” We say, “Zoe is our own.”

  9. We go through this constantly too, though not quite as bad as you, and I’m still working on how I feel about it and how to best deal with it. Thankfully Jammer is still to young to understand it all.

  10. These annoying people may not be gushing because Zoe is Asian, but because she really is beautiful and they are completely socially inept. I had the same experiences with one of my daughters who was, in all honesty, an exceptionally beautiful child. (Yes, I know exactly how biased that sounds but I have the pictures to prove it.) This particular child is, alas, my youngest, so while these conversational slugs gushed on and on about one child, the other two were, more often than not, standing right next to her wondering “What am I, chopped liver?”. It did as much, if not more, damage to them as it did to her…and it did cause damage to her. I tried to be polite and negate the effects when we were out of hearing range of the culprit until at age 3, the “pretty one” told her plain but very personable and intelligent aunt that she couldn’t win the lottery because she wasn’t pretty enough. After that little bon mot, my social graces went out the window. After all, it was my job to raise my children, not to make someone else feel socially acceptable after their mother had failed at her job. I’m not saying you have to be blatantly rude, a frosty “thank you” and walking away is about all you can do, but these unthinking clods can hurt your children if you let them.

  11. I actually endured a conversation with an a-mom who refered to her 17-year-old Korean daughter as looking like such a “little China doll” when she was a baby… Almost barfed up my pho…

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