Well, do you remember when you have felt ugly for the first time? I hope you never have, but seriously, most of you who will read this are girls, and I suppose the large majority of us has felt ugly at one or the other time during our lives. I do remember this moment quite vividly... I was 5 years old, as old as Lily today. We've had a picture day in kindergarten, I had been so excited. I had been allowed to dress up in a skirt and blouse, and we were going to the gallery in the newly-built wing of the kindergarten to have our picture taken. The photographer fixed my hair, and I posed. I felt pretty, and it was exciting.
A few weeks later, we got the pictures back to take home so our parents could select which ones they would purchase. I saw how my mom's jaw dropped and she frowned when she looked at my pictures. And then the bomb went off: she said, she didn't like the pictures and wouldn't get any of mine. They picked several of my pretty sister's pictures, but none of mine. I asked my mom why, and she said that she didn't like them, she didn't like how the photographer combed my hair in a side part and didn't like how I looked in it. I remember how I begged her to buy at least one of my pictures. She did, at last, pick one of my pictures. And I felt ugly for the first time in my life.
Today, this picture is still hanging in my parent's staircase. It is one of the few pictures of me as a child that I actually like, because I look like a girl, not like a boy, who occasionally wears girl's clothes. But the picture also always makes me remember how I felt back then, a quarter of a century ago, and I know that I will never hurt my girls like that!