So let's just jump back in.
Let me share real quick a pet peeve of mine: that it is a common idea that one must be pure to be beautiful.
I look at myself and then I look at my daughter and my first thought after, "Holy crap, she is so beautiful" is, "Holy crap, she's my daughter. She is going to make so many mistakes."
The girl is a normal preschooler, she throws tantrums, she does gross stuff, she lies sometimes, she named her betta fish "Numb Nuts". The usual. But she's yet to yell curse words at me, or get a DUI, or drop out of school, have sex on tape (or, you know, at all. She's four, guys.). You get the idea. She has not gotten any big nasty scars (visible or otherwise) from her misdeeds. Not yet.
But she might. She might really get into some trouble one day that would, from the standpoint of the societal norm, render her "impure". In fact, from some angles of opinion, she could live what I would consider an exemplary existence and still be treated like she's useless because she isn't the age or shape or gender that people think she ought to be. We have got to remember that this, while unfortunate in some ways, can also only add to a persons strength and beauty (assuming they survive).
I feel impure on a regular basis. A big part of that feeling definitely stems from my Christian upbringing, but it's also just a generally accepted idea that once you've done this thing or that thing, you're all worn out. Trouble with the law? Unwed surprise pregnancy? Long list of previous sex partners? You're fucking threadbare. My fat and my face scars and my stretch marks make me feel like used garbage. Why? Are these not badges of a life lived, of struggles survived?
When my mom looks at impure me, I hope that she sees a woman growing stronger and more savvy by the day. I hope that she sees the beauty in that. And I hope that I will be able to offer that to my daughter as she grows into an adult, as well.
I'd like to round this out with the idea that while there is no cause to put any woman on a pedestal, we should probably be kinder to our daughters. We should be kinder to our sons. We should be kinder to other people's daughters and sons. I'm challenging myself to try to remember that my standards of beauty should not necessarily orbit the pure, but the wise instead.