Tell my little girl she’s creative in her choice of clothes, tell her it’s nice to meet her, ask her her name or the title of her favorite book, tell her she looks fast in those shoes but please stopping telling her she’s beautiful/pretty/cute or call her a princess.
It’s really nice of you and you mean well I know because I’ve also said it to many little girls but I’m trying to stop. A few weeks before Christmas I photographed some very sick kids. One was an absolutely stunning 17 year old with severe anorexia. She was skin and bones literally but still incredibly beautiful. We were instructed not to mention anything about her looks. I could barely make it through a 20 minute shoot without commenting on her beauty. Seeing this very sick child I reflected back on how often I’ve commented on a girl’s looks instead of asking her questions about her life. Let’s stop demonstrating to little girls that their looks are tantamount to everything else. If you don’t have anything to say just smile and say “Hi, it’s nice to meet you on this beautiful day.”