On Raising Daughters: Beauty Queen or Brainiac?

“Please, Mommy, please!” She begged with round eyes and crinkled nose.  Her most fervent desire? To sign up for the local beauty pageant and wear a fancy dress.

It’s one aspect of mothering a daughter that I never anticipated….as a mother of mostly boys.

It’s true that daughters are different, and therefore, we worry about different things – teaching modesty and authenticity, teaching beauty that comes from within, teaching God-derived confidence and mothering skills, and a million other things I might never have considered teaching specifically to our boys.

It’s also true that one can find all sorts of conflicting advice about what is best for little girls.

Let them be princesses!

No, let them be tom-boys!  

Teach them the joy of femininity!

No, teach them to seek equality!  

We all want to raise strong daughters, but what does that really mean? Should we teach them the strength of femininity or of brain power?  Should we teach them to be princesses or tomboys?  Mothers everywhere tend to disagree on this issue. Perhaps the answer is less complicated than we have been led to believe!  Beauty Queen or Brainiac from Being Confident of This


When so many different opinions exist, how can we know the best advice to follow?  Which way is right?

Should we let our little girl participate in the beauty pageant or not?

 Join me over at Kaylene Yoder’s place as I share about what kind of daughters we should be raising and how to love our daughters best!

Meet you there!

Jen :)

Sharing with: Tell It To Me Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Titus 2sdays, A Little R&R Wednesdays, #TellHisStory, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Grace and Truth, Faith Filled Fridays


  1. says

    I found you because you first found me… :) I love this post. I wasn’t sure if I posted on the full post if you would get it or not so I came back here. Anyway, I love everything about this post as I too have a little girl. She just turned 7! She is girly and prissy and feminine…but she loves animals and playing outside and DIRT! I just let her be. One of my favorite pictures on her birthday party was when she wanted to wear a princess dress and get all prettied up…but I found her out in the muddy animal pen with her princess dress and crown on, hugging her goat! :) I posted about that some too. :) Thanks again and I look forward to getting to know you better over time as I am so new to all this blogging stuff. :)

  2. says

    I try to teach my four girls it is important to be intelligent first, then you can pay attention to how you look etc. Sometimes you just have to let girls be girls. I think you handled this very well.

  3. says

    Hi, Jen:
    I raised two. One was a princess and never missed a prom. The other was a tomboy and never went to the prom. Most importantly, they found their own personal relationship with Jesus. I’m one happy mom!

    • says

      I’m so happy to hear they both found Jesus! Thank the Lord our little girl already has a relationship with Him, too. I’m hopeful that knowing Him will make a big difference when it comes to her teen years. :) Thanks so much for stopping by here this evening.

  4. says

    Hi, Jen! I’m in the raising daughters camp myself: one tween and one teen. (My husband–their father–is a very patient man.) My ongoing challenge as of mom of these two sweet ones is to find the line between allowing them to be who they are as creations of a God Who makes no mistakes and helping them become who that same wise God desires them to be. Not coincidentally, this is the same line I’m always working to find and walk myself. Oh, the irony. :)

    • says

      Haha, so true, Elizabeth! We’re still trying to figure that out for ourselves, aren’t we? Raising daughters is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure!
      Jen :)

  5. April says

    When my daughter was 5 we had the same conversation. She looked at the county fair paper and the “princess” contest caught her fancy. We live in the South and that is a big deal here. “Please mama! I want to be a princess!”

    I explained to her what it was about. “Honey, that’s a beauty contest. The judges pick the girl who looks prettiest and give her the crown.”

    My daughter didn’t hesitate. She said. “Mom….What about the girls who don’t win? Don’t they feel like they aren’t pretty?” I kind of shrugged. She went on. “That’s AWFUL! Why would a mommy let her little girl do that!!!!????”

    So that was my 5 year old’s take on beauty contests. She didn’t want any part of it.

    Ironically, (though all my girls are lovely) this daughter actually could win one of those contests. She has the “classic” eye catching all-American beauty with big blue eyes, peaches and cream complexion, and waist length silky blond hair.

    She is both a beauty, a brain, and a wonderful child of Jesus who loves others. My daily prayer is that she will be as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside.

    I tell my girls that they should put effort into being girls of beauty on the inside and their outsides will naturally be lovely. Even without pretty dresses, just right hair, the perfect figure, and makeup.

    • says

      What a sweet girl! Yes, I agree – beauty on the inside is what truly matters! We had a lot of conversations with our girl about all of what you mentioned before allowing her to participate, but it wasn’t an easy decision at all. It did open the door for some great conversations, though. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story!
      Jen :)

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