Lauren, age 6

What makes ladies beautiful?

Their smile.

What else?

That they have pretty clothes on.

What do they look like?

Like your clothes.

Would they be pretty colors?

Yes, pretty colors. Red, purple, orange, blue, green or yellow.

Is there anything else that you think would be really pretty?

What you have inside.

Like what?

If you like something and your friend says, “Hey, you’re copying me,” it’s because you like the picture. You make a pretty picture from inside and your friend likes it too.

Is there one beautiful or pretty lady you can think of?

My mom, Mrs. Murphy (my teacher), and you.

Thank you. What makes your mom a beautiful lady?

She dresses pretty and she has a smile and she loves me.

What do you think is pretty or beautiful about you?

That I like myself and I like my friends. And my dressing.

Lauren, 6

Ohio

Jayden, age 6

What does it mean to be pretty or beautiful lady?

To smile. A pretty dress. Beautiful shoes.

What do those shoes look like?

High heels.

What color?

Purple…purple and pink.

What does the dress look like if you’re making me a picture?

A purple, yellow, green, blue and red dress. And flower earrings. She has blond and brown hair.

Can you think of one beautiful or pretty lady?

My mom.

Why is she a beautiful lady?

Because she’s nice.

Can you think of something pretty or beautiful about you?

Myself. My smile. And my teddy bear, Jayden.

Jayden, 6

Ohio


Colton, age 7

To give a bit of background…in my recent “studies” of female beauty, I thought it would be interesting to ask a few kids what they thought. I interviewed a handful of first graders, roughly 6 or 7 years old, and asked them questions a bit paraphrased from the adult version interview. I also asked them to draw a picture of what a beautiful woman would look like. The next 5 interviews are part of this “mini-series”. Enjoy!

What do you think a beautiful or pretty lady looks like?

I don’t know.

Well, what do you think makes a lady look nice?

To dress up.

What kind of clothes would she be wearing?

A dress.

What color would it be?

Yellow.

So if somebody wore a yellow dress, she would look pretty?

Yes.

Would there be anything else?

Just that.

Can you think of one beautiful or pretty lady?

My mom.

Why?

Because she dresses up pretty.

Does she have a yellow dress?

No.

But you said she needed a yellow dress to be pretty.

She used to.

What do you think looks nice for you?

My white shirt that says Ecko and my smile.

Colton, 7

Ohio

“Nutrition Site” by Kathleen Norris

(named for the hot lunch program for the elderly in her small town…)

We are off-site now,

in the van, delivering

hot meals

in a fierce winter.

One widow’s house

smells of stale water.

Ancient linoleum peels

and buckles

on the wounded

hardwood floor.

Her Valentine roses

have lost their bloom;

wrinkled, they droop

on their stems,

as if weighted

by beauty.

Their beauty. Yes.

Like the widow’s icy walk,

her gnarled hand

on the lap

robe, in the musty

living room, her Bible

open to Isaiah 35:

“and the desert shall rejoice,

and blossom as the rose,”

her wrinkly smile

as I knock and

enter. Beauty, yes. All of it.

And truth.

(taken from the book The Quotidian Mysteries)

Beauty is more inward than outward

What did beauty mean to you when you were in your 20s?

In my twenties I enjoyed wearing clothes that were in style. I liked changes everyday, pretty colors, and things that were unique and made me stand out a little. That  was quite important to me. I wore little make-up; it wasn’t that popular then. I was always rather thin and active. I didn’t have to worry about my weight. I was quite proud that I was thin. But I also was very small busted (almost non-existent) and was neurotic about that fact.  It took my self-esteem down a lot.

What does beauty mean to you now?

 Now beauty is more inward than outward. I’m a little happy that I have my gray hair and don’t have to spend time coloring it, and the Bible says its a good thing. That was all I needed to know. My clothes  are about the same. I  watch my weight and try to stay fit. I realize now that frame is inherited and not to be proud of the fact that I’m thinner than most woman my age. My body image is more normal, and (ideas about) bust more normal too. I wear more make-up too, to accent my eyes. Otherwise my face looks very blah. I still like to look by best.

If different, why have your ideas about beauty changed over the years?

The Bible has influenced my thinking  tremendously. I now believe inner beauty is the real beauty. Kindness and a smile are more beautiful than gold or silver and an expensive outfit. Goodwill (store) here I come!

Mara

%d bloggers like this: