Dear Julia: A Letter to My Niece
My niece just turned 16 and just got her driving permit. It made me think back to my own 16th birthday and how far I've come in the world. I had written a letter to my niece last year right before her 15th birthday and wanted to re-post it as a reminder of how far she's come.
As your 15th birthday approaches I wanted to share a few words of wisdom with you. Some things you may already know and some things you may not but either way they're important for you to hear.
Aside from the fact that you're a natural beauty (yes even with your braces), you're a really good person. You're bright, funny, kind, thoughtful, insightful and inquisitive. Everything you'd want a person to be. You're also really cool (hard to come by these days) and hands down one of my favorite people to hang out with. You were one of the first people who encouraged me to launch my blog and for that I thank you.
You see when I set out into the world of blogging I thought it was going to be pretty simple. I'd review a blush here, swatch a lipstick there - pretty easy stuff. And when you started asking me questions about makeup, skincare and everything in between all I cared about was making sure you weren't leaving the house looking like a crazy person.
But as time went on it had become abundantly clear that my words could potentially have an impact on a young person such as yourself. I realized that I had taken on a huge responsibility and I wanted to make sure I was leading you down the right path.
I recently came across a description for a product that said it could help perfect your nose.
I remember thinking to myself why would I want to perfect my nose? Is there something wrong with my nose? Do I need to perfect my nose? Is that even a thing?
If these words could have an effect on me as an adult what kind of impact would they have on an impressionable young person just starting to get into makeup. It shouldn't matter if you contour your nose or have perfectly arched brows or the most flawless complexion. My hope was that my message about being yourself was coming across loud and clear. I wanted to make sure I was instilling confidence, not insecurity; encouraging women to enhance their natural beauty, not change it. And according to you I'm doing a pretty good job so far.
Over the past few years we've bonded through our mutual love of shopping, beauty, fashion and food. We've spent the whole day driving from one store to the next, belting out tunes from Taylor Swift to Eminem and you know all the words to Nicki Minaj's Va Va Voom (did I mention that you're cool - ok moving on).
I'll admit that I don't always understand the lingo and I still don't know what OTP means but I can tell you one thing, being a teenager these days is a lot harder than when I was your age. Granted that was almost 25 years ago (OMG) and even though we all wanted to be older than we were (or at least look like it) I think for the most part we were content just being kids.
Nowadays I feel like kids aren't content with just wanting to look older but actually be older. Jump head first right into adulthood. And my thoughts are always why the rush? What's the hurry?
Because let's face it, at 15 there's not much I think you should be worried about, especially when it comes to how you look. Makeup is meant to accentuate the positive without completely changing your features altogether. When we feel "pretty" on the outside it can definitely give you that added boost of confidence but it should never be the source of it.
I want you to know women can be strong, independent, feminine and sexy all at the same time. I'm about as independent as they come but I have no objection if a man holds the door open for me or if he places his hand on the small of my back to guide me through a crowded restaurant. It doesn't mean I'm weak. It just means that I'm strong enough to let him.
Since I don't have children of my own I wanted to let you know that you bring so much joy to my life and I couldn't be more proud to have you as my niece. By spending time together I've been given the amazing opportunity to see the world through your eyes and it's been such a rewarding experience.
There's so much chaos happening around us each and every day but knowing that you're here in the world puts my mind at ease and gives me hope for the future.
I just know you're going to do great things in your life.
With or without makeup.
I love you very much!