You are not beautiful, Mumma! Talking about ‘Beauty’ with my son.

You are not beautiful!

Has anyone ever told you that you are not beautiful?

Guess what?

I was told these words on my face by my own kid, my then 4-year-old boy.

This incident happened last year and it made me wonder how vulnerable our kids are to what they see and hear and how they process that information. Also, how important our role as parents is in molding their thinking to help them grow into kind and accepting human beings.

So, today I want to share this episode with you all I wrote that time but didn’t share it because I wanted to see if my approach worked or not.

The day my son told me, Mumma, you are not beautiful, I knew it was time to talk about Beauty, self-love, and love for others. 

We had just entered Lockdown 2.0 that week. I remember it was a Saturday, my free day and I was preparing for a long relaxing bath. Just before entering the bathroom, I peeped at myself into the mirror, I looked different.

Yes, I had overgrown eyebrows and a mustache, my face looked tanned and dull but I didn’t mind it. The salons were closed and I was happy that I could enjoy pain-free days. I made some funny faces in the mirror & laughed at myself. Just when I turned around I saw my son Nemit standing there, with a confused look ready to pop a question at me.

And, he asked me, ‘Mumma, why do you have hair on your face like papa? You also have hair on your hands and legs.’ Just before I could say something, he blurted out, ‘Mumma, now you are not beautiful.’

I was taken aback by his comment. Clearly, I wasn’t expecting that.

It felt weird & I couldn’t say a word to him so I just gave him a silly smile & went into the bathroom. The only thought I had lingering on my mind that day was when & how did my 4-year-old son learn to make such judgments. I never taught him any specific definition of beauty.

Or, did I? Maybe unknowingly and unintentionally. I don’t know.

It made me ponder, was there anything that we were doing that was sending a wrong message to our kid?

I always knew a day will come when I will talk to my son about self-love because that is the most important thing for a child’s confidence. But, how did I forget that there’s another important thing we need to teach our kids. That is, loving others, accepting them without judging their choices, and looking beyond their outer appearance.

So many thoughts were clouding my mind that day. And on top of that, I started questioning my parenting (if you are a parent, you know what I mean). I had to come out of it. Now, the challenge was how to talk about it with a 4-year-old.

My son said, Mumma, you are not beautiful. I knew it was time to talk about Beauty. I had an important conversation on'Being Beautiful' with my son.


I had an important conversation on ‘Being Beautiful’ with my son that day.

That evening I sat with him and touched the topic again. And, I started with the basics. The first thing I told him was that every girl and boy gets facial and body hair when they reach a certain age. And, it is not a bad thing. I had to explain it a bit to make him understand the point.

Everyone is beautiful irrespective of their skin colour, body size & even body hair.  We all get body hair and it’s a choice if someone wants to keep it that way or remove it. Similarly, with makeup or no makeup, we can’t judge anyone based on their choices. Some people feel good after putting on makeup, some people don’t. If they are happy the way they are, they are beautiful.

He seemed confused at first so I encouraged him to ask questions. I never thought he could ask so many questions on this topic. I answered them all, giving him examples from real life so that he could understand better. And, then moved on to explain other qualities that we should look at in other people beyond their looks.

That day, I realized how important it is to have such conversations with our kids. They are vulnerable because their minds are still developing, they are taking in a lot of unfiltered information from ‘n’ number of sources. We really can’t filter or block everything they see or hear but we can help them in processing that information in the right manner just by having such heart-to-heart conversations.

It’s been more than a year now since that incident but I can tell that our talk that day made a lasting impact on his mind and changed the way he looks at people now. I see him giving compliments to his teachers and he never shies away on appreciating the good qualities of his friends. For a parent, these are proud moments to cherish.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever had such a conversation with your child? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please share them in the comments below. If you don’t feel like leaving a public comment here, please feel free to reach out to me on my social media.

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    Archana Srivastava September 20, 2021 at 7:21 am - Reply

    Loved the positive approach of your parenting Neha. No doubt, parenting is a huge responsibility and endless learning for both sides.

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      Neha Sharma September 20, 2021 at 8:41 am - Reply

      True that parenting is a huge responsibility. Thank you, Archana for visiting my blog.

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    Geethica Mehra September 20, 2021 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    Parenting is strange at times. You never know from where and when your child is picking up things and observing all the happenings around. But yes, talking to your child is always the best solution.

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      Neha Sharma September 20, 2021 at 6:26 pm - Reply

      Having meaningful conversations with kids is so underrated in our society but kids are so smart nowadays and when we talk with them and explain things to them, they understand better.

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    Varsh September 21, 2021 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    You did the right thing, Neha. We must communicate with our kids to make them sensitive to matters like this. Just the other day I told my 13yo son that he should never body shame, anyone, because they’re different. That’s nature’s doing.

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      Neha Sharma September 22, 2021 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Varsha. Yes, there are so many things that we should talk about with our kids before they pick up the wrong meaning from somewhere else.

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    Gurjeet Chhabra September 22, 2021 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    when ever I apply lipstick or get ready my kid always say you are looking beautiful or where are you going?
    I realize that my kid know what beauty and ugly means. one day , we are travelling and car stop on red light . Handicap Beggar came , then he ask “ishko kya hua”? my daughter once ask mom inhke par kyu nahi hai , kitna ganda lag raha hai that was heart breaking then I explain things. I want my kids not to judge people with outer appearance.

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      Neha Sharma September 26, 2021 at 10:33 pm - Reply

      So true, dear, somewhere unconsciously maybe we are giving out a wrong message to our kids. Thanks for sharing your experience. We learn from such experiences.

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    Aesha Shah September 23, 2021 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Communicating about body positivity is very important. You did the right thing in the right manner, Neha.

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      Neha Sharma September 26, 2021 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Aesha 🙂

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    Neerja September 23, 2021 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    Super conversation! Loved every word of it. Parenting is a huge responsibility and it does not come with any guidelines. You are a very responsible mom… 🙂

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      Neha Sharma September 26, 2021 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      Thank you for such encouraging words 🙂

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    Aditya September 24, 2021 at 12:08 am - Reply

    You have written the post wonderfully touching every point of the topic perfectly. Kudos!

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      Neha Sharma September 24, 2021 at 7:52 am - Reply

      Thank you so much 🙂

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    Suchita Agarwal September 24, 2021 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Everything about this blogpost and your conversation with your son is amazing and so so important. We don’t think what cues we’re giving but we can always improve upon them.

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      Neha Sharma September 26, 2021 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      That’s right, Suchita. Many times we say and do things that are actually contradictory to our own beliefs, we are not perfect but we can always work on that. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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    Harshita Nanda September 25, 2021 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Parenting is a new set of challenges everyday!! I loved your positive approach to this difficult scenario. I am sure your child is going to grow up to be a smart, empathetic individual with such a sensitive mother

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      Neha Sharma September 26, 2021 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      Your words mean a lot to me, Harshita. Thanks for spreading positivity 🙂

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    Satabdi September 26, 2021 at 11:38 am - Reply

    I can relate to this because my son (5 years) has also been asking me why I am not getting the hair on my body removed. He’s subconsciously associated body hair with men.

    I’ve tried to explain that body hair is a normal thing. And it’s a choice to keep it or remove it.

    I don’t know if he understood but he didn’t make such a comment again.

    It’s hard to raise an unbiased boy because society and often, even family, is giving him biased and misogynistic messages every day. It’s a task to counter it all the time.

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      Neha Sharma September 26, 2021 at 10:36 pm - Reply

      So so true, Satabdi. It’s not at all easy to raise an unbiased kid but we have to try our best. The fate of the future depends on the kids we are raising today.

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    Shipra Trivedi September 27, 2021 at 12:08 am - Reply

    Hi Neha, like Nemit Vibhu called me chubby once. And also that he liked more when I was not as fat as I am now. Definitely our kids are absorbing the wrong idea of being beautiful. They somehow want a mumma like they see in TV shows. Really is different and they should understand that mumma is always beautiful as she takes care of whole family.

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      Neha Sharma October 7, 2021 at 2:51 pm - Reply

      As a parent, it is our responsibility to help our kids understand and differentiate right from wrong. Having one on one conversations with them is one of the ways that we have adopted for now to tackle this situation.

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    Harjeet Kaur September 27, 2021 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    You have handled the situation very well, Neha. Kids these days are very observant and need to know that people are not judged by outward appearance. Thankfully my kids didn’t ask such questions, but my son used t ask many questions about the world, animals, how he was born.

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      Neha Sharma October 7, 2021 at 2:35 pm - Reply

      The kids are curious beings, and we need to feed their curiosity with the right knowledge. Thanks for visiting, Harjeet 🙂

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    Cindy Dsilva September 28, 2021 at 1:54 am - Reply

    So in my case it was the other way around. Because I’m the fairest in the family, my 4 year old son asked me why I was ‘white’ and his sister was also lesser white but he and his dad are dark brown. First I found that to be a cute observation but then I sat him down and told him that God has given everyone different colours. It doesn’t matter how they look, it is how they treat you that matters. How you behave and how good you are to others matter, not your colour.. than I made it a bit dramatic and said even if your red in colour, and if you are a nice person who helps others, people will surely love you.

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      Neha Sharma October 7, 2021 at 2:32 pm - Reply

      I remember when I was younger, we used to say fair girls are beautiful and dark boys are handsome. This notion has changed a lot in today’s time but still, we need to teach our kids that beauty is not what’s seen from the outside. You explained that well to your son. 🙂

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    Jayshree October 6, 2021 at 1:29 am - Reply

    Talking about body positivity is extremely important

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      Neha Sharma October 6, 2021 at 7:34 am - Reply

      Yes, you are right. And this conversation should start from an early age. Thanks for stopping by:)

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    Srikanth October 10, 2021 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Children after a age get judgemental, learn from parents, observe things. As parents how we showcase ourselves matter and many of us fail in this. A good move in having the conversation, clarifying and setting the perspective right matters a lot in shaping a beautiful future for them

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      Neha Sharma October 13, 2021 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      Thank you 🙂

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