Dr. Kelly Flanagan, a licensed clinical psychologist and happy father of three, keeps a fantastic blog, full of wonderful opinions and personal advice. He has made a habit out of writing letters to his young daughter, to help teach her about the world. But not only his daughter could benefit from reading his wise words.
Check out what he had to say about the make-up and fashion industry. They are great words to live by.
Dear Little One,
As I write this, I’m sitting in the makeup aisle of our
local Target store. A friend recently texted me from a different makeup
aisle and told me it felt like one of the most oppressive places in the
world. I wanted to find out what he meant.
Instant age rewind,
Choose your dream,
Nearly naked, and
When you have a daughter you start to realize she’s just as strong as
everyone else in the house—a force to be reckoned with, a soul on fire
with the same life and gifts and passions as any man. But sitting in
this store aisle, you also begin to realize most people won’t see her
that way. They’ll see her as a pretty face and a body to enjoy. And
they’ll tell her she has to look a certain way to have any worth or
But words do have power and maybe, just maybe, the words of a father
can begin to compete with the words of the world. Maybe a father’s words
can deliver his daughter through this gauntlet of institutionalized
shame and into a deep, unshakeable sense of her own worthiness and
A father’s words aren’t different words, but they are words with a radically different meaning:
Brilliant strength. May your strength be not in your
fingernails but in your heart. May you discern in your center who you
are, and then may you fearfully but tenaciously live it out in the
Choose your dream. But not from a department store
shelf. Find the still-quiet place within you. A real dream has been
planted there. Discover what you want to do in the world. And when you
have chosen, may you faithfully pursue it, with integrity and with hope.
Naked. The world wants you to take your clothes off.
Please keep them on. But take your gloves off. Pull no punches. Say
what is in your heart. Be vulnerable. Embrace risk. Love a world that
barely knows what it means to love itself. Do so nakedly. Openly. With
Infallible. May you be constantly, infallibly aware
that infallibility doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion created by people
interested in your wallet. If you choose to seek perfection, may it be
in an infallible grace—for yourself, and for everyone around you.
Age defying. Your skin will wrinkle and your youth
will fade, but your soul is ageless. It will always know how to play and
how to enjoy and how to revel in this one-chance life. May you always
defiantly resist the aging of your spirit.
Flawless finish. Your finish has nothing to do with
how your face looks today and everything to do with how your life looks
on your last day. May your years be a preparation for that day. May you
be aged by grace, may you grow in wisdom, and may your love become big
enough to embrace all people. May your flawless finish be a peaceful
embrace of the end and the unknown that follows, and may it thus be a
gift to everyone who cherishes you.
Little One, you love everything pink and frilly and I will surely
understand if someday makeup is important to you. But I pray three words
will remain more important to you—the last three words you say every
night, when I ask the question: “Where are you the most beautiful?”
Three words so bright no concealer can cover them.
Where are you the most beautiful?
On the inside.
From my heart to yours,
To see more of Dr. Flanagan’s writings, check out his blog. This man has a good head on his shoulders, more of us could stand to have his kind of good sense.
Kelly Flanagan also has a free ebook out, called The Marriage Manifesto: Turning Your World Upside Down. If you like what he wrote in this letter, you should probably check it out.
Source: Dr. Kelly Flanagan
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