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More questions about my adult daughter's appearance...

thanks M-avi23; Good point!
How do I stop comparing my adult's daughters appearance and behavior to her friends and others her age. they seem to find time to do their hair, make up and dress nicely and stay in shape.
It just annoys me. I don't want to be on overbearing mother because I see that with some of my friends and the young girls are insecure and borderline perfectionist. But I want to say something to her about it. I don't know how to handle because I can see both sides to it.


Asked by jojo91055 at 1:25 PM on Dec. 1, 2013 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 2 (4 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • Need a much better definition of what's bothering you. Is she unwashed? Does she smell all the time or have clumps of dandruff drifting down her shoulders? Has she gained a significant amount of weight so that she's unhealthy?

    Or is she clean but eschewing makeup? Is her hair kept clean but no styling to it? Has she merely gained a dress size?

    True story for you. I was a category 2 gal. Still am, really. My mother let me do as I would as long as I was clean. But my father would hound me. It created a huge wedge between us, because nothing was ever good enough and it started with the appearance. He's passed away, and as much as I miss him I'm relieved to not have to deal with his fussiness.

    Don't repeat my dad's mistake, OK?

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:31 PM on Dec. 1, 2013

  • Hmmm... how about accepting her and loving her for who she is?

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 1:27 PM on Dec. 1, 2013

  • People are different and value different things. Some focus on their looks and atracting praise for it, others put less worth on the outward appearance and focus on their actions.

    If you would like her to be more active because of health issues why not suggest that you have always wanted to take a ( zumba, belly dancing or whatever) class but feel a little nervous. You would be happy to enroll both of you if she will go with you.

    Answer by Dardenella at 2:10 PM on Dec. 1, 2013

  • I suggest you work on the part where her appearance triggers shame in you & you feel like how she looks reflects on you. That just means that you see her as an extension of yourself, but I believe that's something for any parent to be aware of & work on, when it comes to our kids. It isn't healthy to "need" her to look/be some way in order to feel comfortable yourself, anymore than it's healthy to depend on a child's behavior to make you feel competent as a parent.

    "How?" Pay attention to the dynamic of needing someone else to change so YOU can feel better about yourself. You likely would feel uneasy if someone else in her life related this way to her.

    Bring mindfulness to the very feelings you described here & in your other Q. Ask yourself what importance you've assigned to her appearance, her "upkeep." (What have you decided is the mark of a good mother, successful daughter, etc.? What does her weight "say" about you?)

    Answer by girlwithC at 2:26 PM on Dec. 1, 2013

  • Good point PGA. I feel the same way.

    Answer by louise2 at 1:29 PM on Dec. 1, 2013


    Comment by jojo91055 (original poster) at 1:31 PM on Dec. 1, 2013

  • I wouldn't. Just let her be and instead focus on the issues for your feelings....

    Answer by m-avi at 1:33 PM on Dec. 1, 2013

  • I read this "...they seem to find time to do their hair, make up and dress nicely and stay in shape." and ALL I can think is are YOU really that shallow that you want to pick apart your own child's appearance??? WOW! So glad you are not my mother. Seriously... this is what bothers you about her?? Grow up... you are not in HS anymore.

    Answer by Crafty26 at 2:09 PM on Dec. 1, 2013

  • I think we're being hard on jojo, it depends on what you're caring about. Does she need to do wear make-up and designer clothes? If those are the issues, they are superficial and highly critical.

    If you want her to look healthy, keep her hair neat and clean (not necessarily perfectly coiffed, just neat and clean). And by dress decent you don't mean designer clothes, but things that are neat, maybe pressed so they don't look like they came out of the laundry basket, and just look like she has some self worth and good personal hygiene, I think that's perfectly acceptable.

    Being a 'Fashionista' is highly over-rated, but having good hygiene, and taking care of yourself does help you to get better jobs, have higher quality relationships, and sometimes even better health.

    Mom's should love their kids unconditionally, but I don't think it's bad to have reasonable expectations from your adult children.

    Answer by ohwrite at 2:18 PM on Dec. 1, 2013

  • Listen, I struggle with one of my adult daughters because of her weight, it is not only about how she looks, but the healthy aspect of it. She is 35 years old and it is only a matter of time before the health starts to decline because of her over is a very touchy subject, one that I have touched on many times...but if she is not interested in loosing her weight, there is nothing I can do about it, and harping on the elephant in the room does nothing but make her unhappy. So I have stopped and have come up with ways to get her moving, she is now getting up at 5:30 am to go walk with her dad...she goes for 2 miles, but she is doing it consistently, before she goes to work, which is something she has a hard time to do anything consistently, so this is a good thing. Try getting her to get involved in some form of exercise, encourage it or suggest..but you can't force anyone to do what they do not want to do....

    Answer by older at 2:19 PM on Dec. 1, 2013