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I recently read an article titled, “What Happens When Daughters Start to Outshine Their Mothers?” and I just kind of started shaking my head.

The article was about how it can be difficult for women when their daughters blossom into beautiful teenagers at the same time they are desperately trying to hold on to their youth.

Here’s an excerpt… “Christina Daves, almost 50, of the Washington D.C.-area, agrees. ‘Back in the day my husband and I hosted so many parties, and I was always ‘the belle of the ball.’ Today, however, it’s her 15-year-old-daughter and her friends that garner the most attention. ‘I’m so proud of their beauty and confidence,” says Daves, ‘but it’s hard to know that all the men are looking at them and not me.’

I mean, what?!

First of all, I think this mother should be WAY more concerned that the men she is inviting to her house are ogling her teen daughter. And who the heck really feels this way?

The moms I know want their daughters and sons to succeed in every way possible. They don’t resent their children for blossoming into adults, they support and encourage them. If they are trying to hold onto anything, it’s only wishing their kids could still be little so they could hold them in their arms and try to protect them from everything.

Just the notion of this article seems so sexist to me. I mean, do you think someone is pitching an article right now about how 40 something fathers are so jealous of their son’s rock hard abs and athletic prowess. I really doubt it.

Here’s the thing about doing a story on anything. If you can think of a catchy headline, you can usually find someone to give you a quote that will fit it. It doesn’t actually mean the issue is sweeping the nation.

And this Washington Post story starts with a photo of Reese Witherspoon who is out enjoying an evening with her kids. And then she gets thrown into an article about daughters supposedly outshining their mothers (even though there is no mention of her daughter Ava actually doing this).

ReeseWitherspoon and children

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Can the aging process be difficult? Of course. For men and women. But society is particularly harsh on women. I recently heard a guy describe a woman as “over the hill.” A woman who happened to be his exact same age. Double standard, indeed.

But just because aging can be a challenge, doesn’t mean you resent your own kids for growing up.

My mother still looks at me the way I look at my own children…. with awe and amazement. These people I helped create are creative, passionate, quirky and amazing. And I am excited to see what they become.

Do I wish my skin was as flawless as my 22 year old self? Sure. But you know what? I guarantee I just saw different flaws back then.

Men and women are not a depreciating commodity. They grow and they change and they evolve. That is something to be celebrated, not attacked.

5 Responses to a washington post article pits mothers against their daughters

  • alexandra says:

    Thank you. I had a therapist in college, he was determined that my anxiety was due to me competing with my mother. Yes, my mother was a beautiful woman but never was she my competition.


  • Love this. I am the mom of two gorgeous teenage girls and my role is not to compete with them – it’s to shoot the Hairy Stinkeye at any adult man whose glance lingers on them too long. (Don’t tell me not to, it’s a biological imperative until they’re out of my house.)

    At the same time, it’s easy for me to remember what a ball of discomfort and nerves I was at that age – something that at almost 50 is WAY behind me in the rear view mirror. What I make up for in wrinkles, I also make up for in having lots of good stories to tell (thanks, Life.)

    Maybe I’m fired up because I just came from a drs appt where two female nurses in their sixties both – separately and unprompted – told me that life in their 50s was better than their 40s, and that their 60s have been fabulous too. My role models.

  • Chris says:

    Thank you for this article. A few weeks ago i heard this blip that a woman that weighs over 140 lbs is considered fat. I’m like, What??? Seriously. So for some reason when i had some time i looked into it. That is what a lot of people think. Of course i have never heard of it and thought the whole thing was ridiculous. Some people just have no clue. SMH.

  • Christina Daves says:

    Not what I said at all and completely out of context. I am happier now than I have EVER been and feel more beautiful than I did in my teens or 20’s. I said I don’t like that 40 year old men are looking at my daughter and her friends because THEY are 40 and the girls are 15 not because I wish they were looking at me. And it certainly isn’t our friends, i.e. men at our house. I mentioned a horse race and a baseball game – complete strangers.

  • MN Mama says:

    Thank you for writing this. I think it is incredibly sad that we don’t appreciate the beauty of aging. We can learn so much from women who have gone before us.

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kelcey kintner