Keeping up appearances

By Ruth Limkin

I’ve been known to prioritize fashion over function before. Many women have. After all, while sports shoes may always be functional, most times it’s hard to go past a great pair of heels, or cute ballet flats, to complete a outfit.

Women often spend time and money on their appearances. If it’s done from a place of confidence, rather than competitiveness, it’s simply a matter of personal taste.

However, it’s not always so, and it’s not always just us who bear the consequences.

News that beauty pageant mum, Kerry Campbell, gives her eight year old daughter botox injections and leg waxes  has caused a stir.

However, possibly the saddest thing is not so much that it’s happening, but why.

Kerry Campbell said she does this to allow her daughter Britney to ‘keep up with other girls on the pageantry circuit’.

Quite apart from the concerns about subjecting children to botox and waxing, the greater concern is the overriding message that Britney’s receiving.

To be told from eight years old that you have to ‘keep up’ with other girls is to set you up for a lifetime of comparison, isolation and heartache. No mum should be teaching her daughter this.

Women can be incredible friends to each other. We can bear burdens, speak out about injustice and comfort the hurting. But we can only do this when we learn to encourage one another, rather than compete with one another.

I do hope someone teaches Britney about the joy of female friendship.

The beauty pageant trophy cabinet may stay empty, but her heart will be full. And that, in the end, is the greatest prize of all.