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.