People left some really thought-provoking comments about beauty*. It seems the main reason people are reluctant to tell girls they are beautiful is because they don't want to encourage vanity. With good reason, I suppose - there's nothing much less fun than being around a vain woman, unless it's being around a vain man. People who are wrapped up in their own good looks are very little fun - probably all of us know someone like that. But I think there's a big difference between being secure and being vain. In my view, the difference is this: a woman who is happy about the way she looks, but not vain, is also able to be glad when someone else looks good. A vain woman has to be the most beautiful.
One of the most beautiful people I have ever met is also the most generous with her praise of other women. I knew her for a while before I realised this. She would tell me about people who she knew, and would always preface descriptions with 'oh, Shirley (or Magda or Katie or whoever) is so beautiful'. And for a while, I just thought that she happened to only have really good looking friends. And then I met most of these girls, and they looked just like you or me. But Bethan looks at all of these ordinary women and genuinely sees beauty. She has waist-length blonde hair, great legs, blue eyes and a killer smile and if anybody has reason to be vain, it would be her. I'm sure she knows she is good looking (I mean, the girl has a mirror) but she wears it lightly. She can see her own beauty, but it doesn't stop her seeing the beauty of other women too. It's not a competition, for her.
I think what I'm saying is that want my daughter to grow up to be like Bethan. Happy in her own gorgeousness, but equally happy to see gorgeousness in others. Anybody got any ideas on how to make that happen?
Speaking of vanity (well, it's sister vice of pride) can I tell you something I'm really really proud of? (No! It's not my collection of useless academic qualifications, which I swear I must have mentioned here before but it seemed to surprise people so maybe not. Anyway, now I feel awkward about it). Last week I worked out how to install social networking buttons on my posts with the icons of my choice. (There are some really cool icons out there). I'm really not at all sure anybody wants them, but in the end it was a fight to the death between me and the html (and I really don't know anything about html) and by golly I won. I think. I don't really use social networking. So, with that confidence-inspiring background, does anybody else want to know how to do it? If so, let me know soon and I'll write a how-to before it all falls out of my head.
Also speaking of proud (sort of) by Jingo I felt proud of my adopted country on Friday. A wedding? A very beautiful dress? A free day off? Which is then spent guilt-free in front of someone else's television, eating cupcakes? What's not to like? I loved the whole thing.
We've just got back from being away for Royal Wedding / May Day long weekend, and now normal life starts again tomorrow. It's the end of about 15 days of off-on holidays for us. That, I do not like.
(Although if I'm totally, totally honest - I've missed the computer).
*Not from this lady, however. She claims she had a "brilliant, insightful, earth-shattering" comment which blogger ate. Do we believe it? You be the jury.