“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.”
― Dorothy Parker
The other day, my eldest daughter worriedly asked me, "Mummy, is it ok if I grow up to be better looking than you?" Honestly, I was taken aback by her question. Why would she ask such a thing? So I told her, "Each of us are created differently by Allah SWT. Some more beautiful than others but whatever it is we must accept what has been given to us. If you grow up to be better looking than me then Alhamdulillah, as that, is God's blessing for you and I would be very happy for you. Don't worry about me. I am happy with the way I am and I am growing old. Just remember to be thankful with whatever you have and be the best that you can be".
I asked her then, why did she ask such question. What she told me got me really angry. She told me that one of her friends, let's call her 'D'; well, D's mum had specifically told her that she must not and will never grow up to be more beautiful than the mother so my daughter was wondering if I felt the same way. What?! Seriously?
I know people keep saying that we shouldn't judge a person until we have walked a mile in their shoes but, what kind of person tells her daughter that she must remain ugly? How can a mother breaks a child's spirit like that? Doesn't she know the effect of such statement on a child's self confidence?
I am not the best mom in the world, in fact I have screwed up more times than getting things right. I still roar at my kids especially when they switch on their 'selective hearing' mode but as parents, we need to protect our kids from all kinds of harm. We have the power to shape our children. We must nurture them with praises but also pull their ears when they need to be corrected. We must never damage or destroy a child's spirit as the scars may be long term or permanent.
Call me judgmental but to me, to say such things to your child is just downright mean.
Hadith - Bukhari (#91) and Muslim
Abu Salmah related that Abu Hurayrah said, "The Prophet of Allah SAW kissed Hasan ibn 'Ali while Aqra' ibn Habis was sitting nearby. Aqra' said, 'I have ten children and have never kissed one of them.' The Prophet SAW looked at him and said, 'Those who show no mercy will be shown no mercy.'"
Beauty is only skin deep and it's temporary. Everyone will age. There is no such thing as an ageless beauty. We should not cling to external beauty as it can be taken away from us in a blink. To cause hurt to another for the sake of beauty is just not worth the sin.
Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Allah does not look at your outward appearance and your wealth, rather He looks at your hearts and deeds." [Related by Muslim #1356]
More than anything, I would love to pull the ears of this particular mother but it's not my place to do so. Like the Wise Owl said, I must accept the different types of people created by God and just pray that they change for the better. Still, I can't help feeling sorry for 'D'. I fervently pray that she will grow up strong and become a beautiful person, inside out, Ameen.....