my daughter doesn’t look like me

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is resemblance. As parents, we are endlessly fascinated by what our children look like and how much they look like us. This doesn’t make us vain. It only makes us human. My essay at Brain, Child this week is a reflection on some of the feelings I have about the fact that my daughter is blonde-haired and blue-eyed. You can read it here.


she definitely doesn’t get her hair color from me


Filed under parenting

6 responses to “my daughter doesn’t look like me

  1. Richard Apfel

    Lauren, that is one of your very best essays.

    Do you see Adam’s side as well as yours?




  2. I came here after reading your “Are you maxed out?” article and was pleasantly surprised to see you also wrote this essay. I read it earlier in the week. My 3 year old biracial daughter does not look especially like me, but perhaps the difference is that no one expected her to look like me. I’m white and my husband is black. But I can see my ancestry in the shape of my daughter’s eyebrows, the fullness of her cheeks, the sweetness in her spirit. She doesn’t need to look like me to look like me.

    I really enjoy reading your words.

    • Thanks for coming to find me. I love that concept - she doesn’t need to look like me to look like me - and I understand it perfectly. My husband is English/Protestant and I am American/Jewish so we have a slightly larger gene pool to work with as well: not bi-racial, but certainly bi-cultural/ethnic. I think what took me by surprise with Phoebe was that I already had two kids, who didn’t look like each other, but who still both had some aesthetic connection to me. And then her twin brother as well…Anyway, will be so glad to keep in touch with you (and now, of course, I want to see pictures of you and your daughter)!

  3. Katherine

    Thank you for sharing. I have 2 children one with blue eyes and blonde hair curly, and my son, brown eyes and brown hair. All the time people feel the need to say something, and don’t understand my background or my husbands. I had curly brown hair as a child, not anymore, my mum is blonde green eyed and father black hair and brown eyes. My siblings are all blonde and brother brown haired. I am Australian/Croatian, husband Hispanic/german. I get so upset how people feel the need to make a comment like I’m not good enough to be her mum because I have brown hair, like blonde and blue eyed is perfect? It hurts me, and has affected me since the day she was born. She’s my girl and no one can take that away from me. Thank you for your article.

    • Thank you for writing in with your story, Katherine, I really appreciate it. I doubt (and would hope!) the comments people make to you in this respect do no stem from the belief that you are not good enough to be her mom, but from a more natural tendency to feel surprised (or even disoriented) when there is such an aesthetic discrepancy between mother and daughter. I understand that myself. There are still days when I look at my daughter and feel slightly shocked at the fact that she is mine, though we are so, so close now. Hope to keep in touch with you here!

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