Daddy’s letter to his 13-year-old daughter

Darling Emily

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love you, how proud I am of you, how wonderful I truly think you are.

A couple of weeks ago you broke my heart when you told me you started wearing makeup because you believed you were ugly!

Who says you are ugly? You are not, but I know I would say that! I know there are 1000 voices shouting in 2018. There are 7.6 billion people alive today not everybody can be Miley Cyrus or Victoria Justice. With Instagram and Snapchat the world has become smaller. Facetune and Retouch Me along with many companies and brands are selling lies dressed up as dreams, fakeness and falsehood all-round. ‘Perfect’ simply does not exist. Beauty really is in diversity.

All day long I would swap you getting A & B in your GCSE’s for D & E if you knew how to love yourself and believe in yourself. Adults call it ‘self-esteem’.

I don’t have a problem with makeup, but please don’t let it become a mask you hide behind. Most people in reality hide behind some sort of mask.

I was badly bullied most days at school by people I even often called friends. I struggled with being dyslexic; teachers called me thick and lazy. I built a virtual wall to hide behind. I treated people harshly and with abruptness, subconsciously trying to get in first with hurtful behaviour because they were only going to hurt me anyway, or so I believed!

Some of the bricks in my wall were sports cars, designer clothes and working hard. Trying to prove to myself I was not the thing people told me I was and to find a sense of belonging and purpose. If people tell you long enough you are ‘no good’ its hard not to believe it!

It took me to the age of 41 to truly realize I have nothing to prove to anyone, and that I am loveable. I found my life when I laid it down. I want to be the first to love, to be generous with my time, my talents and my treasure, rather than being defensive and always holding people at arm’s length. People are precious, very precious.

As you live through the super complicated next 13 years of your life and become a young adult, turn your back on what society says, love with arms open wide, let your soul breathe. Love the bully, love the person that calls you a name, love the person that puts you down, love the person that says you can’t. They only say and do these things because they are hurting and are broken on the inside. Unfortunately hurting people cannot help but hurt others.

Most importantly of all Emily, love yourself, you are beautifully and wonderfully made. You have a Dad and Mum that love you very much, you have a younger sister that adores you and wants to be just like you and a heavenly Father that weeps over you.

You are filled with untold potential and possibilities. There is nothing you cannot achieve or be or do; you are only limited by your own dreams and the depth of your self belief. As your dad and your number one fan, I would far rather see you as a flat broke barista working in a coffee shop, but knowing how to give and receive love because you are secure in yourself, rather than a hotshot lawyer, teacher, or doctor but all dried up on the inside, like I was until recently.

Go and shine Emily, let the beauty on the inside of you shine brighter than the beauty on the outside of you and when you have finished loving, be brave and love some more!

All my love

Daddy xxx

Published with Emily’s permission

3 thoughts on “Daddy’s letter to his 13-year-old daughter

  1. Thank you for putting this out into the world, Paul. Emily is lucky to have a dad who’s paying close enough attention to notice that the make-up moment is almost always accompanied by a not-enough moment. You’ve spoken into that moment and transformed it. Beautiful.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I have three girls – 11,9 and 8. On Friday my 9 year old was getting ready for bed and asked me if I thought she had an overly round belly. I wrote and performed this as a response…

    I hope you enjoy it and that it makes Emily smile 😀


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s