Women are no strangers to being scrutinized when it comes to their physical attributes. Some females are even scrutinized by their own parents, be it for their hair color, weight, or style choices.
A mom named D.J. Kramer admittedly has had a problem with her daughter’s eyebrows. And while this might not strike the reader as odd, her daughter was only a toddler at the time.
Kramer wrote on BluntMoms:
I knew I shouldn’t care. She was healthy, she was beautiful, she was smart and fun, but I stared at the collection of hairs above her nose that grew more abundant each passing day my fixation grew.
So, in order to remedy her daughter’s “imperfection,” Kramer bought a cheap bikini trimmer and shaved the unwanted eyebrow hair off. Unfortunately, it only made matters worse.
Following her trimming her daughter’s eyebrows, Kramer started noticing additional “imperfections” about her child and felt the urge to remove those too. Kramer explained:
I was tempted to strip the hairs that grew from the edges of her eyebrows toward her tiny temples but restrained myself. She continued to smile, none the wiser, and hoped off the toilet seat to resume a game of steal the dog’s toy. I smiled back at her, admiring my perfect little girl.
This continued throughout her daughter’s preschool years, up until her first day of kindergarten, when it occurred to Kramer that there was a dissonance between the message she was sending her daughter by shaving her eyebrows, versus the message that she truly wanted her daughter to internalize.
Kramer realized that the message she was actually sending was “that [her daughter] needed to change, remove a part of herself, in order to fit into someone else’s standard of who she is supposed to be.”
As I stood looking at her, preparing her for her entry into her education, into a new world of thinking and ideas, what would be the idea that I would send her out with? The idea that somehow, she wasn’t perfect just the way she was?
Kramer wanted her daughter to know was loved unconditionally, that she did not have to alter her physical appearance in order to be valued and cherished by her mother. This made Kramer realize that she could no longer impose the shaving on her daughter.
The idea that her Mama, the one who was supposed to love and accept her unconditionally, insisted on keeping up with some societal standard of beauty, propagating it on a child who hadn’t even learned how to spell her own last name, whose own identity was just beginning to emerge. The message I would send is you are not good enough.
Before heading out the door, Kramer’s daughter reminded her mother that she hadn’t yet shaved her eyebrows. Kramer responded by telling her little girl:
“Don’t worry about it baby, you look great.”
After this epiphany and subsequent exchange with her daughter, Kramer would no longer continue shaving her daughter’s unibrow.
I have been tempted to find the trimmer from where it lies in the back of the bathroom cabinet, but I know that it’s my s**t to get over, and I have no business putting that on her.
By recognizing this, she was able to convey her love and acceptance of her daughter.
Kramer came to terms with her own discomfort in order to be the type of mother she wished to be to her child, but most of all, examining her actions allowed her to give her daughter one consistent message: She is loved and she is enough just the way she is.