...or riding her coattails, so to speak. (This, BTW, is how anonymity erodes - now you know my teen is a girl and it's only Day 3. :) )
My daughter is pretty, smart, and funny. She's not beautiful, brilliant, or hilarious. However, she's got something that makes further qualifiers unnecessary - confidence. She's striding toward womanhood with grace and guts. She's modestly stylish, and when she finds something in her style she knows it and grabs it. She applies her makeup artistically - sometimes with a flirty flourish, and sometimes with discreet simplicity. She's not brash, but she stands up for herself and others when necessary. And she knows when to leave a fight alone. Yes, she's hormonal - but she knows it and keeps herself in check.
My adolescence was very different. I was tormented by self-doubt and afraid to try anything new lest someone criticize. All I learned of womanhood I learned after the age of 20, and it was a stumbling, faltering education. Even now, in my mid-forties, I still don't "get it."
However. Watching my daughter enter the feminine world as she is, I realize that I can "get it." I can have the same confidence to like what I like, and to feel good about feeling good, as she has. All I have to do is let go of that old, tattered noose of feared criticism. I watch her, and I see that ostracism hasn't crashed her party. No one ridicules her or even teases. In fact, they respect her uniqueness and confidence, even when they don't care for her choices. And this is where her beauty and brilliance lie.
So now I'm working on becoming beautiful and brilliant, too. It's fun to be trying new makeup, clothing and hairstyles at my age, when I ought to be settling into the usual entering-middle-age rut. But I feel it coming on - this beauty and brilliance - and I like it. I like it a lot!