Tag Archives: father

Re-Blogged: Words From a Father to His Daughter (From the Makeup Aisle)

Re-Blogged from: DrKellyFlanagan.com

Words From a Father to His Daughter (From the Makeup Aisle)
Kelly M. Flanagan02/06/14 09:15 AM ET
Dear Little One,

As I write this, I’m sitting in the makeup aisle of our local Target store. A friend recently texted me from a different makeup aisle and told me it felt like one of the most oppressive places in the world. I wanted to find out what he meant. And now that I’m sitting here, I’m beginning to agree with him. Words have power, and the words on display in this aisle have a deep power. Words and phrases like:

Affordably gorgeous,


Flawless finish,

Brilliant strength,

Liquid power,

Go nude,


Instant age rewind,

Choose your dream,

Nearly naked, and

Natural beauty.

When you have a daughter, you start to realize she’s just as strong as everyone else in the house — a force to be reckoned with, a soul on fire with the same life and gifts and passions as any man. But sitting in this store aisle, you also begin to realize most people won’t see her that way. They’ll see her as a pretty face and a body to enjoy. And they’ll tell her she has to look a certain way to have any worth or influence.

But words do have power and maybe, just maybe, the words of a father can begin to compete with the words of the world. Maybe a father’s words can deliver his daughter through this gauntlet of institutionalized shame and into a deep, unshakeable sense of her own worthiness and beauty.

A father’s words aren’t different words, but they are words with a radically different meaning:

Brilliant strength. May your strength be not in your fingernails but in your heart. May you discern in your center who you are, and then may you fearfully but tenaciously live it out in the world.

Choose your dream. But not from a department store shelf. Find the still-quiet place within you. A real dream has been planted there. Discover what you want to do in the world. And when you have chosen, may you faithfully pursue it, with integrity and with hope.

Naked. The world wants you to take your clothes off. Please keep them on. But take your gloves off. Pull no punches. Say what is in your heart. Be vulnerable. Embrace risk. Love a world that barely knows what it means to love itself. Do so nakedly. Openly. With abandon.

Infallible. May you be constantly, infallibly aware that infallibility doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion created by people interested in your wallet. If you choose to seek perfection, may it be in an infallible grace — for yourself, and for everyone around you.

Age-defying. Your skin will wrinkle and your youth will fade, but your soul is ageless. It will always know how to play and how to enjoy and how to revel in this one-chance life. May you always defiantly resist the aging of your spirit.

Flawless finish. Your finish has nothing to do with how your face looks today and everything to do with how your life looks on your last day. May your years be a preparation for that day. May you be aged by grace, may you grow in wisdom and may your love become big enough to embrace all people. May your flawless finish be a peaceful embrace of the end and the unknown that follows, and may it thus be a gift to everyone who cherishes you.

Little One, you love everything pink and frilly and I will surely understand if someday makeup is important to you. But I pray three words will remain more important to you — the last three words you say every night, when I ask the question: “Where are you the most beautiful?” Three words so bright no concealer can cover them.

Where are you the most beautiful?

On the inside.

From my heart to yours,



Like the last letter I wrote to my daughter, I wrote this first for her and the day I’ll eventually read it to her. But I also wrote it for every woman who needs to hear the words of a father. Women, no one else can define your beauty for you. But they’ll try.

My daughter is 4 years old now. If her awakening to the makeup aisle comes at the typical age, I figure we have about five years to radically alter the arc of history and the subjugation-by-image of the female gender. We’ve got a lot of work to do. And it begins in the heart of each and every woman.


This post originally appeared on DrKellyFlanagan.com

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, new, to-be or old, today! I hope you all celebrated today with your fathers and showed them how much you appreciate them and are thankful for them being around.

Although, our little angel hasn’t arrived yet, I wanted to make sure the D experienced today the way most fathers are fortunate to. D hasn’t celebrated father’s day before. His father passed away in India nearly 10 years ago and back then this North American tradition wasn’t well-recognized in India.

Since he’s going to be a father soon and we’re nearly half way through the pregnancy, I thought today would be a good day to make the baby arriving more real. I mean, up until now, although we know we’re pregnant and a baby is going to arrive soon, it hasn’t felt 100% as real.

So, I got him some gifts, not so much for him but for the baby. I think he really enjoyed my surprise last night. We had to celebrate last night because he had to be out and about early this morning. But the surprise continued over to this morning with tea and breakfast ready for him before e was even up.

Here are some photos of last night’s surprise and my loving husband’s first father’s day.





Marriage; She Chose You

This was shared on my Facebook wall. I just had to share it with all of you! Please read, appreciate what the writer is saying and then share. 🙂

From day one..

She became the apple of her father’s eyes…Her silent tears did wonders and dad agreed to do the things he first said no to! She was his little princess.
She can walk in style all day long without looking tired…She burns her hand; while learning to cooking for you..but never complains once…She can cry all night; but the next morning when her eyes are red she swears it’s just because mascara got in her eye…She likes to be called “Angel” or “Princess” or “Baby”…She will drop a lot of hints to tell you that she Loves you. But she won’t come say it directly…When a guy says something really sentimental, she will remember it forever…When she cooks for you; You know you mean a lot to her…She feels honored when you ask her for advice or her opinion…She feels shy when you look at her, silently…She feels Protective when she is dependent on you…
But then…
She is expected to seal her Words …To crush her emotions… To stop her tears…And to have a big smile on her face.. no matter how hard she is dying inside…
She is one who was treated as a Princess in her Parent’s House…When she got Married she left every thing behind; her Parents, their Love, her home…
She adopts your family values, even your family name…She calls your mother “Mum“… and your father “Dad


because so many love her but she chooses to love you…..



All my life all I dreamt of besides becoming an amazing Bollywood actress (lol), was my wedding but more so my marriage. I’m not one to pry on fancy things, nor did I ever want a big wedding. All I wanted though, was to have a small, simple wedding with immediate family and to marry the man of my dreams.

I wanted a mother-in-law who looked at me with more love than my own mother. A father-in-law that called me his pride and joy. A brother-in-law who I joked around with and stayed youthful with. Even a sister-in-law who I could love as if she were my daughter. And of course, a husband who called me his strength. Who looked at me as if I was the most precious thing in the world. Who loved me more than any other human being could someone else. This family would become my honor, my strength, my pride, my love, my life.

But who am I kidding, “happily ever after” only exists in movies. As great as life can be at times, the “dream” or “wish” that I just explained rarely exists, if at all.

I’m starting to feel like the man I began to believe was my prince-charming is still weighing his options. He’s still searching but keeping me around if he doesn’t find anyone better. I’ve become an option for him. And you’ll probably wonder why I am still with him.

You see, us Indian women have this belief/obligation towards our culture and religion: when we call someone, make someone or believe that someone is our husband; he becomes our everything. After bowing for God, our culture teaches us to touch our husband’s feet and bow in front of him.

On October 26th last year, I fasted for his long life and prosperity. After he fed me my first piece of food, I bowed in front of him and touched his feet. At that very moment, he became my everything, he became my life. Was it a little too soon? Definitely! Is it extreme? Absolutely! But he is who remains in my heart. He is who my heart calls out to. He is who my heart yearns for and desires. Almost every day after October 26th, I have touched his feet one way or the other, clearly without making it too obvious to him and I have treated him as my husband.

However, I’m realizing now that he considers me nothing more than an option and it breaks my heart. It hurts me knowing this yet I am unable to get him out of my mind, heart or soul. Almost every day he finds a way to hurt me and everyday I build myself up saying that I’m going to put an end to this. But everyday he’ll do something to make me love him a bit more. They say you must take the good with the bad. However, how do you forgive someone who has made you feel like an option? How do you forget that they treat you like everyone else in the crowd? How do you settle with the fact the person who is the most important to you does not value or appreciate you?

If you’ve read other parts of my blog, you’re probably thinking that I am full of shit, since I’ve been previously married and divorced. You’re probably wondering where my cultural and religious beliefs went when I was divorcing my ex-husband. The thing with that is apart from being religious, I am also a human-being who needs to love and be loved. Up until my ex-husband left the country for good, even after the divorce papers were signed and filed, I remember myself constantly telling him that it still wasn’t too late to fix this marriage. However, his anger and hate towards me blocked his brain from seeing something that he would eventually realize was a mistake. Even for many years after our divorce, I wore my mangal-sutar and sindoor and kept the hope and prayed we would somehow fix what had broken between us. However, that day never came and so, I finally gave up and moved on.

A couple of weeks ago I stood between two men that love dearly; my father and D. Each one so precious to me. However, with the events of the past couple of weeks, both have managed to break my heart. Neither pulled hard enoUgh and to some degree both have lost me.

I don’t blame either of them for the decisions they made. They were both right in their own way. But the reality of the fact is that their decisions would take its complete toll on me and my life. They were deciding the rest of my life for me. My dad, because it is his responsibility and duty to and D, because I allowed him to. Neither realized what their decision would do or mean to me.

The result is that I have chosen to never get married again. I will stay single for as long as my heart desires. I will live my life for me. And lastly, I will erase that dream of the perfect wedding, marriage and family from my mind forever.

As for my cultural and religious beliefs, those I can neither erase nor dishonor. So, I will continue to love him and think of him as I do.

To be con’t…


In India marriage is one of the most important times in a girl’s life.  Probably not just India but every where around the world.  However, the significance of marriage in India is probably stronger than anywhere else in the world.  If you are the father of the bride-to-be, than this burden on your head to make sure the husband your daughter finds or the one you find for her is good, not just good but exceptional.  After you find this man; your son-in-law to be, a whole new set of responsibilities and burdens arise on your shoulders.

The marriage ceremony in India, especially for the father-of-the-bride can become extremely expensive and can take up almost everything he has worked for his entire life.  Then after the marriage there are several traditions that need to be fulfilled.  With each tradition comes more expenses.  But the expenses aren’t what I want to talk about today. It’s that burden a father feels to find that perfect groom for his daughter that is the real topic of discussion on my mind.

We all know our fathers mean well.  We know that they have our best interests at heart and are just making sure that when we settle down, we settle down with the right guy.  But sometimes our fathers forget to ask us about where our happiness lies.  They forget to realize that we have hearts and minds and may possibly have someone of interest in mind.  Most of us Indian girls just stay quiet in front of our father’s decisions.  We have been taught not to disobey him and to honor every decision he makes as if it was a decision made by God.

We sacrifice our desires and hearts for our father’s honor.  But a lot of the time the sad reality is that they don’t even bother to look once deep into our eyes to feel or even get to know what we are feeling.  After we leave our father’s house and are either on our own or with our husbands in their homes then that same desire is felt to have him just look once deep into our eyes to understand what our mouth cannot disclose.

Today I am standing in the middle.  On one side I find my father.  This man I have loved all my life and honored and respected as if he was my God after the Almighty.  Sure, we’ve had our ups and downs.  Sure, we’ve fought a million battles against each other.  But neither has dishonored the duty we have for one another.

On the other side of me stands a man who I am in love with.  This man makes me smile when joy seems too distant from my reality.  This man makes my face glow when my self-esteem is battered.  This man holds me when my eyes well-up with tears.  This man is the man I see myself growing old with.  This man is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with and every life after this life with.

But as I look side-to-side at each one of them, I realize that neither one of them understands what I am feeling at this moment.  Neither one of them has taken that time to look into my eyes today and see how many tears are surfacing.  Neither one of them has bothered to ask me what I want, what I’m thinking, what my heart desires.

And now I stand in the middle not knowing which way my life will turn.  I don’t know who will pull harder.  I don’t know whose decision will change my life and who’s will break my heart.  And I cannot say anymore to either of them at this point as I have already said enough.

To be continued…

Plinky: Mom Deserves More Credit

My Mom definitely deserves more credit then she gets. She takes care of the house, the family, the grand children and everyone’s needs and requirements. She truly is super-woman!

While my father has spent most of his life at work, my mother has spent her life at home taking care of children. She made sure we had arts and crafts in our lives, dance and music, education and entertainment. She made sure we understood and practiced our religion and culture; while still adapting to the new country’s cultures we were in. She made sure we had a friend in the form of a parent, who we could confide in and rely on. She made sure she could fulfill all of our hopes and dreams to the best our financial circumstances would allow.

And now as she has aged and it is our time to take care of her and make sure she doesn’t go a single day in despair; I think we take it for granted all that she has done. She was always there and remains ’till this day. But being children, we sometimes forget to give our parents as much credit as they deserve.

Powered by Plinky