The Dress - Feeling Pretty for the First Time

The importance of a father's approval. The significance of feeling good about oneself -- especially in adolescence.

The Dress

She stepped into the silky material,
Carefully, one leg at a time,
Unsure of herself,
Working the delicate sheath up her body,
Pulling one strap over her left shoulder,
Then her right.
She blinked, stepping back.
"Is that really me?"

Dainty flowers dusted her silhouette,
Ruffles caressing her growing breasts.
Brown eyes shining,
A smile emerged,
The mirror's reflection returned her grin.
Hemline billowing as she spun,
Stopping to inspect the view --
So different from the jeans and shorts
She was accustomed to wearing.
"Is that really me?"

Thanking her mom, she hugged the bag
And walked to the van together.
Twenty minutes passed.
She was in the kitchen,
Radiant with joy when her Daddy said,
"You look so pretty, baby, very pretty."
Holding the hem between her finger and thumb,
She spun and spun and spun.

As beautiful as their daughter was,
Her parents joy grew to see her confidence,
Her satisfaction with self,
Blossom by a single purchase,
And affirming words.
The first time in a long time - they knew
She felt pretty.
Since before her birth,
They declared her worth...
But sometimes something more is needed
To combat what the world screams at her

Scales fell from her eyes that day,
When she saw herself as a young lady for the first time.
A milestone reached --
In the dressing room.
How odd, I never had imagined
An indelible moment in such a common place.
Yet, there, in front of the mirror...
She saw her soul - she saw past her face.
The glow that emerged from behind her smile,
Was rooted in her soul.
As if putting on a simple dress broke a shackle...
Allowing her to see herself, her true beauty.

Essence of grace, wisdom and wit,
Somehow flow more easily with just
The right fit.
I don't mean to sound shallow --
I am not that sort.
But when you've witnessed the struggle -
The cruel sport
of pubescent rivalry and fitting in --
Learning to be comfortable in one's skin.
It's tough for adults - it I've known and
It I have felt,
But what a victory,
My heart melts.

I'll not forget that day,
That had begun somewhat grim.
But finished beautifully...
Her heart validated by him -- through his warm adulation.
Fathers' approval, praise and affection --
Nothing compares. Nothing.
When his words were heard,
"You're pretty," that's when her face beamed,
And joy erupted,
Breaking the false image given by a world corrupted.
"I am beautiful." You could see how she felt,
Undeniably. Pretty. For the first time.
My heart soars.

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Comments 9 comments

cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

very nice memory, like this warm feeling of a young girls awakening to her femininess. nice write.

Valerie Kenney 4 years ago

What a wonderful moment you have captured in words~ so very touching and beautifully written. Girls have an innate desire for their father's affirmation, it is what truly makes them feel like a princess.

homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

This was so beautifully written. I pictured the scene unfolding as the words painted the picture. A parent's blessing can mean so much.

eolikes profile image

eolikes 4 years ago from Bangladesh

Touching moment. Well written

Melissa Eschler 4 years ago

I love it! amazing words!

TripleAMom profile image

TripleAMom 4 years ago from Florida

This is so true. My husband very clearly wants our two girls to know that they are beautiful in his eyes. He takes them (and our son as well) on "dates" by themselves just to spend time alone with them. They love the time they have with dad. Love your words and the feeling they held. Voting up. Following to read more!

breathe2travel profile image

breathe2travel 4 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA Author

Thank you, Cleaner 3, for reading and commenting. :)

breathe2travel profile image

breathe2travel 4 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA Author

Thank each of you for reading and commenting -- as well as sharing your stories. :)

breathe2travel profile image

breathe2travel 3 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA Author

Thank you, Valerie & homesteadbound for reading and commenting.

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