An 11 Year Old Responds To Colbie Caillat

 “Wait a second, Why should you care, what they think of you When you're all alone, by yourself, do you like you?” Colbie Caillat, Try

Recently my daughter Ellie had one of her friends practice makeup skills on her just for fun.  They used a little blush, some eye shadow, and some dabs of mascara.

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They didn’t go crazy. Still, the result was a tad unsettling for me as the one who has seen her un-made-up face for the last 11 1/2 years.No big shocker, but I feel she is beautiful exactly as she is, so I didn't encourage her to choose this look for her new daily image.

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Of course I told Ellie she looked pretty (she did), but I also told her, more sincerely, that she was beautiful without any makeup at all.  (For the record, I'm not trying to swear her off of makeup for life, but I want her to remember she's doesn't have to "change a single thing.")I think she believed me.

My credibility is holding for the moment, but that’s likely to change.  I am, after all, still the mom.

In three weeks, my daughter starts middle school.  This transition accelerates the process where her friend’s voices can grow louder and have greater influence.  From a developmental perspective, this is the time when fitting in seems crucial and where comparison becomes THE way of measuring worth.

This is the season when she will, undoubtedly, feel the pressure of questions like:

Do my clothes measure up to what the rest of the crowd is wearing? Does my hair look good? Is my body type attractive? Do I wear makeup well? Are my shoes on trend?

Ignoring the unhealthy voices of the crowd is a relentless, exhausting swim upstream.

However, that’s exactly what I pray she will do.

I want her to find a path that is neither steeped in conformity, nor driven by rebellion.  I want her to grow in wisdom and faith and know her intrinsic worth.  I want this for her entire life.

In fact, if I could pry open her head and give her one prevailing skill, it would be that she would be comfortable in her own skin.

I would tell her she doesn’t have to “try so hard.” I would tell her she “doesn’t have to give it all away.” I would assure her that she is worthy of love no matter what.

Until this weekend, when Colbie Caillat’s video took off, I didn’t have a catchy tune for these words.

Now, I’m so grateful that’s changed.

I sat with Ellie as she watched the video and saw the tears well up in her eyes.

“What do you think about the song?” I asked.

Initially, she couldn’t find the words.  Finally she said,

“I don’t know.  I kinda feel like crying, but mostly I’m inspired.”

I know how she feels.

Thank you Colbie for singing the heart of so many people.  I hope you like you, 'cause I like you.

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