Differences in attractiveness of children? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure where to put this so mods you can move if you have to.

I'm having a little anxiety over something that might never be an issue, but I'm worried nonetheless. I'm also going to try to word this properly so bear with me.

DS is 2.5 and he's reallly over the top beautiful. He models and books a ton of jobs and already has a nice hunk of change saved up for himself. Everywhere he goes people comment on his looks and to top it off, he's also a very kind sweet agreeable child. We got lucky I guess.

Well I'm pregnant with a daughter and she's due in a few months.

Here's my fear: if she's not as beautiful as her brother, how will this affect her? And here's the reason for my fears...I've seen it. I've seen families fuss and fuss over the "beautiful" kid and never give the same attention to the other one. Or I"ve seen strangers come up and comment and fuss over the beautiful one and not even cast a glance at the other child. It hurts the other one SO CLEARLY and yet nobody notices. (FYI-I'm more concerned about extended family and friends and starngers, not us...we'll love them both and fuss over them equally of course, ) Heck, DH's own family does it to his neice. One of DH's neices is stop-traffic beautiful. The other neice is perfectly lovely, but yes, to be honest her sister is simply stunning. EVERYONE talks openly about how beautiful neice #2 is IN FRONT OF #1. It's been going on as long as I've known DH- 10 years. I can think of at least 4 other families throughout my lifetime that had the same thing going on.

Personally, I don't like to focus on looks. I've struggled in the past with ED's and looks are not something I want either child to think much of. (The modeling will come to a stop when DS is old enough to understand what it can mean socially if you know what I mean, right now all he thinks is YAY we get to go to the city and take pictures)

So I guess I'm looking for advice. How do I handle it if there is a difference in my two children? How to I encourage others not to make comments or draw distinctions. If strangers do, how do I handle it? Has anyone BTDT?

Thanks and sorry this is so long and all over the place...
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#2 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 10:27 AM
 
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I wouldn't focus on looks for either. And what you do in your house is a bigger deal than what other people do, but I'd try to minimize that as much as you can.

Here's my story. I was a funny looking kid but an attractive teenager. My sister was a ridiculously beautiful child, but an unattractive teenager. She was hurt much more than I was. My looks were never important to me, but it was much harder for her because she'd wrapped up her whole sense of self-worth in her looks. So be careful with your ds too.
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#3 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 10:38 AM
 
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I used to work for this math institute that held a program for profoundly mathematically gifted kids every year. One year, we had a reporter come in to do a feature on one kid (he'd been nominated for a scholarship or fellowship or something, I forget what). The reporter mentioned to me that this one kid was really exceptional, and I answered "we think all of these kids are exceptional." I think my tone was pretty casual, it wasn't a big deal to me, but all of a sudden, I have this reporter falling all over himself to apologize and explain and whatever. The result of this experience is that if someone compliments one of my kids while I'm out in public, my answer is going to fall along the lines of "I'm lucky to have two gorgeous children," or "all of my kids are lovely." I'd probably try the same line on family if there was a need. If you want to be sure not to offend people, smile besottedly while you say it - but lots of moms find that hard to avoid.

You say that your son is over the top gorgeous, and also sweet and agreeable. There are a bazillion beautiful children in the world, they can and do hire the ones who are easy to work with for modeling jobs. So it might help you to get the focus off of looks if you keep in mind that even the thing that's hypothetically all about looks is strongly related to personality and behavior.
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#4 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 10:45 AM
 
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I was a really cute baby but peaked at about 5 and it was all down hill from there. HA. (Mostly kidding.)

I wouldn't make an issue where there isn't one. ((hug))

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#5 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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#6 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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I would agree that what you do at home has more of an effect than strangers, but the strangers could still cause a stir. I agree with a PP, if others only comment ds, them add that BOTH your children are adorable, they should get the hint..
I've sort of btdt... I nannied two kids That were 22 mo apart. The older girl was awkward looking wore 'coke bottle' glasses and had sever allergies that made her always have to eat differently. The younger boys was adorable!!! Complete strangers would stop, compliment the boy, and then just look at the girl they were still young when I stopped working for them (5 and 3) so I don't know how they 'turned out', but I always tried to make the older girl feel special in all of her interests... I don't remember exactly how I handles the strangers' comments.... I was young and probably could have done a better job at deflecting, but I don't recall..
Anyway, I also agree with PP, looks change- and really fast in kids- focus on innr beauty!!!!!!

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#7 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 11:20 AM
 
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its not just comparisons about looks. there is the whole thing about personality too. the outgoing gregrarious personality is good and the shy is bad.

this is what i have brought up my dd to believe. she is who SHE decides she is. others will say things, but they are THEIR opinions. it has nothing to do with who she thinks she is. so some may like it, some may not.

my brother was drop dead gorgeous. i am a plane jane compared to him. yet everyone liked my personality compared to my brother. so while he got the wow handsome comment, i got the wow she is such a happy social child comment.

my dd is 'chubby'. like her dad she carries baby fat on her. she is very active so i know its not a diet or medical issue. however sometimes she gets teased in school by teh super thin kids. and she handles it on her own without getting feelings hurt. she is who SHE is, not what others say who she is.

no matter waht the world says, it all depends on you. what the parents do is KEY!!!!

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#8 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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Obviously, we can only control what we can control.

We can't control what others say and do, but we can control how we respond. You can respond to comments with something that includes both your children, like "Thank you. Our children are beautiful inside and out!".

If you celebrate each child for who they are, they will have a good chance of growing up feeling good about who they are. Don't worry about the differences, and don't borrow trouble

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#9 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 12:36 PM
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I modeled and acted as a child. Yes, the money is nice, but it's anxiety-provoking for a child, actually.

So if you really don't want the world focused on your children's looks, I'd suggest getting your son out of modeling.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#10 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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I modeled and acted as a child. Yes, the money is nice, but it's anxiety-provoking for a child, actually.

So if you really don't want the world focused on your children's looks, I'd suggest getting your son out of modeling.


I agree 100 percent here... Even when you stop Op your other child will know about the first's modeling days. Putting a child in activities like that places importance on their looks.
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#11 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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So if you really don't want the world focused on your children's looks, I'd suggest getting your son out of modeling.
agreed.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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It's not quite as bad for a sister/brother as it is for a sister/sister. (no experience for brother/brother.)

The comments from others start in about fourth-ish grade with the "Oh, Mark is your brother? He's sooo cute". But, when it's a little sister, it usually works out in her favor. My brother was very good looking and popular growing up, so I had a lot of fun hanging out with him in high school. I wouldn't have traded that for anything in the world. He's 50 years old and I still get comments on my facebook about how he's still hot. I'm happy for him.

I grew up with a lot of friends with sisters. The "Your sister is so pretty" comments really hurt when the notsopretty sister is in their pre-teens. Nobody means to make hurtful comments, but it still hurts. One of my best friends has three daughters. One is breathtakingly beautiful, the other two are average looking at best. Nobody focuses on the middle child's looks, but the oldest daughter notices the differences. It bothers her so much. She's great about it, but it still hurts her. All girls go through that "I wish I had longer eyelashes" Or "I wish I could tan like that girl".

The hard truth is, people say things. Not to be hurtful, but they say things before they think it through. People Do judge on looks. It's human nature. Teenage girls will be friends with the younger sister, just to hang out near the older brother and his friends. It's just how it works.
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#13 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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agreed.
Agree also

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#14 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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So if you really don't want the world focused on your children's looks, I'd suggest getting your son out of modeling.

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#15 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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So if you really don't want the world focused on your children's looks, I'd suggest getting your son out of modeling.
Agree. I'm pretty puzzled by this thread, to be honest.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#16 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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Agree. I'm pretty puzzled by this thread, to be honest.

I'm not puzzled by it. I think we all have thougths and worries that other people might not understand. I know when i was pregnant, I thought about how my child would look. I couldn't stop thinking about it.

I even felt jealous of other kids who's hair was longer or thicker. Once, I bought a book about how to do a little girl's hair... even though my little girl didn't have any hair.
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#17 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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I agree with all of the agree-ers. If you don't want an issue around looks, do not focus your first child's activities on looks in a formal manner like modelling, and cultivate other aspects of who they are that aren't based in something they cannot change or work towards. Simple. Your household and your views on your child are what directly impacts them the most. You can't change the views of anyone else.

TBH, your child modeling is an aspect of YOUR issues/needs/goals/etc., not his. He did not declare himself 'over the top beautiful', get head shots, call the agent and drive himself to shoots. It really speaks to YOUR value system.

You can't really have it both ways...going over the top with descriptions of your child's beauty, then worrying about other people judging #2 for lack of beauty in relation to #1.
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#18 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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I'm not puzzled by it. I think we all have thougths and worries that other people might not understand. I know when i was pregnant, I thought about how my child would look. I couldn't stop thinking about it.

I even felt jealous of other kids who's hair was longer or thicker. Once, I bought a book about how to do a little girl's hair... even though my little girl didn't have any hair.
No, I get that. I don't get someone who wants to de-emphasize the importance of physical attractiveness having their kid in modeling....

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#19 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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hmmm...not sure how much bearing this has, but it's really not about looks.

When I look back on my teens, I was...stunning. I had absolutely no idea until I was 30, and saw an old pic of a group of us, and asked my cousin who the gorgeous brunette was, and she cracked up. I was a serious looker, and I had no clue (and, yes, looking back, people told me, but I didn't believe them, and never felt like one of the "beautiful people").

My sister was, imo, very pretty. But, she wasn't as cute, in a physical way, as I was when we were babies/very young children, and probably not as stunning as a teen/young woman. I was just a really, really gorgeous baby. She was a regular, cute, cuddly baby. (She had a much cuter personality, though...she was a huge cuddler. Actually, now that I think about it, dd1 and dd2 are very similar. DD2 is immensely cute, but dd1 was beautiful, in a way babies usually aren't.)

My sister hated it. She hated that people loved my smile. She hated that I had bigger boobs than her. She hated that I had "perfect" cheekbones.

I hated it, too. I hated that people would say I had a beautiful smile or perfect cheekbones, but it was my sister who had total strangers walk up to her with a rose, or ask her for a date, or whatever. I may have been "the beautiful one"...but she was the one who got the attention! Maybe not as kids, but definitely as teens. I was gorgeous. She was outgoing, vivacious and a total man magnet. *sigh*

I have no idea if any of that helps. But, I really think the key is to play to each child's strengths - skills, abilities, personality traits (especially personality traits!) - and not worry to much about looks within your own family.

And...that actually hurt to re-read. I sound like such a braggart. I swear, I'm really not. I never felt like I was pretty at all back then (and don't think I'm pretty now, either - I think I was pretty). My sister is way prettier than I am now. She also gets way more attention than I do, but it doesn't bother me, anymore. I have dh, and a few good friends, and that's all I really need, yk?

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#20 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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I think it's a fair question. I'm frankly concerned about with LO #2 due Monday and DS being an EXTREMELY cute and personable child. He gets comments all the time, and I have this anxiety that LO #2 is going to somehow be second fiddle if he/she is less attractive/less smart/less personable/less whatever. I think it's natural to worry a bit.

HOWEVER...I agree that how YOU handle it will have a big impact. Make it a point to NOT focus on that aspect of your children. And don't try to compare them anyway; each child is such an individual it's not worth the anxiety trying to figure it out.

I also agree with the PPs who suggested taking your DS out of modeling. It may have been fine up to now, but maybe it's time to call it off and get DS into some less looks-oriented activities. (And as another PP said, remember that personality has a LOT to do with modeling/acting bookings as well...they won't take kids who are difficult to work with no matter how stunning.) Not judging you here, but we specifically did NOT put DS into modeling stuff because we looked into it and decided there was too much nasty stuff there...the emphasis on looks being only part of it.

Anyway, I think you will find your new DD will be as much a joy as your DS. Try not to worry. Enjoy.
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#21 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 06:53 PM
 
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The original post seems to have been deleted but from what I can tell from the responses, I'd just throw in that my DD was accepted into a baby modeling agency and the whole process of even signing her up and seeing if they'd take her confirmed for me why there was NO way I was gonna have her do it. She was only 6 months when they signed her up, and my plan was to only have her doing it until she was like 1 1/2 yrs or so, i.e. until she'd really understand how much people were focusing on how she looked.

But I realized that she'd be affected from day 1, that for me it wasn't good for HER, and if she had a sibling that didn't get accepted, that would have been a deal-breaker too because then I would worry about the impact on each of them of one of them modeling.

To each their own, but I guess I share in the puzzled folks who wonder why anyone who is concerned about others prioritizing their kid's looks would have that kid modeling? That's exactly why my kid doesn't model.
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#22 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 07:03 PM
 
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I wouldn't focus on looks. Our kids barely have any sort of idea around physical appearances. When my youngest does something sweet like cuddle a teddy, my oldest will often say "He's so cute" but it's focused on the action. Occasionally, we'll say they look handsome when they're dressed up, but really, looks are pretty much off the charts in our house.

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#23 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 07:14 PM
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When the boys were little, DS1 was "the smart one" (he was average looking but wicked, crazy smart), and DS2 was "the cute one" (god-awful cute, charming, above-average intelligence but not shockingly smart).

I don't think either of them has been too insulted by anyone. DS1 really couldn't care less what anyone thinks of him, anyway. That's just his personality. I think DS2 might be a little insecure about whether he's smart enough or not....he always tries to be right in arguments and sometimes cooks up tall tales to appear more interesting.

But really, as they've gotten older, the difference in appearance is less. DS1's features have become more refined and DS2 is going through a bit of an awkward stage....so nobody comments anymore on how cute he is (except the random girl here or there).
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#24 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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I'm finding it difficult to understand why someone "not focused on looks" would in fact, focus on her son's appearance to the extent of commodifying it.

I agree with pp that it's time to get out of modeling. No matter what your daughter looks like, simply by being a part of your family she's going to get the message that good looks = attention and money. Is that really the message you want to convey - whether she's pretty or not?
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#25 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 08:07 PM
 
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So if you really don't want the world focused on your children's looks, I'd suggest getting your son out of modeling.
Completely agreed.

YOUR actions will speak to your son and daughter much more loudly than anyone else's comments.

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#26 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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Growing up as the duller, plainer one in the family, it wasn't really a big deal. People valued me for other things and that's ok. I think the main thing is that children feel loved and appreciated for who they are.

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#27 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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We are blessed with 2 beautiful kids, but younger ds 4 is really really "good looking" with a personality that blows most folks away- super verbal and outgoing and hilarious. Add to that that dd (who is beautiful, but in a quiet soulful way) is 7 and folks just tend to comment on the younger of the two- because face it babies and toddlers are cute - like a puppy is cute.

My two cents is that it will all balance out. New baby will get lots of attention- being the baby will carry her for years and by the time she is old enough to know better ds will enter the awkward kid phase and it will balance out. DD so far has not once seemed put off by brother's compliments. She herself constantly tells him how smart he is and what a great little guy he is.

In my opinion he may have the knock em dead looks, but she has the soul of an angel and is becoming a beauty in her own way- a beauty that will last long after her boobs sag and she has crow's feet like her mama! (um, the saggy boobs and crow's feet part is like me- i am not nearly as good of a person as dd)
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#28 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 08:28 PM
 
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i know someone who was the ugly duckling in a family of beautiful sisters. there were 4 sisters - the average looking one, two beautiful ones and one that is take your breath away beautiful.

the woman has had issues her whole life and her parents were responsible for most of them. her mom constantly made comments about looks and would be on her ass about wearing her hair a different way or losing weight (if you can't be pretty, you can at least be skinny ) or whatever.

so, while outsiders will say hurtful / stupid things, the way the parents handle things is WAAAYYY more important.

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#29 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 10:44 PM
 
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As a mom of a dd, I wouldn't want modeling to have any place in my family. That's just me, dealing w/the pressures of preteen years, but I would get it all away from my family without a second thought.

But, perhaps the crux of your question is how it feels to be bringing a second child into your family? I think we all have moments of wondering what it will be like, how the siblings will impact each other, do we have enough energy, love, etc. When our first seems so perfect, and we're so in love, it's hard sometimes to imagine that it will all be fine with the second. It will be, but it's normal to wonder.
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#30 of 50 Old 03-11-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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All of my children have stolen the show at one time or another. I have never made a big deal about it. if they noticed I would just remind them there was a time where people treated them the same way.

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