NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Being the child of a pop superstar has amazing perks, but it won’t protect you bullies or prevent self esteem issues.
That became clear at Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards, when singer Pink relayed a heartfelt story about her daughter.READ MORE: Police: Man Stabbed In Head With Machete After Argument At Walmart In Kearny, N.J.
The focus of the VMA’s quickly shifted to children when Pink talked about her daughter in her acceptance speech. The 37-year-old singer, whose real name is Alecia Moore, said she was driving her daughter Willow to school when out of the blue the six-year-old said something that shocked her.
“‘I’m the ugliest girl I know,’ and I said, ‘huh?’. And she said, ‘yeah, I look like a boy with long hair’,” Pink said.
CBS2’s Elise Finch spoke with parents who watched or heard about the speech and were appalled.
“I think it’s terrible,” one mom said.
“I think it’s absolutely horrible,” said another.
The pop star said she told her daughter that people criticize her for having short hair and a muscular body but she won’t change the way she presents herself to the world and her daughter shouldn’t either.READ MORE: Some Real Estate Agents Report Surge Of New Yorkers Moving From Manhattan To The Bronx
“Babygirl we don’t change,” the singer said. “We take the gavel and the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”
Experts say if your child comes to you and makes a disturbing statement about their looks or self esteem, the first thing you need to do is ask questions.
“It should be that this is something that they picked up and they’re mimicking or parroting, but it’s not something they’ve internalized as part of their value system yet or that they truly feel is applicable to them,” licensed psychologist Alexandra Stratyner said.
Stratyner says to prevent your child from internalizing negative comments about their appearance, make sure they know you value them for things like their creativity, work ethic, and kindness to others.
“You want to be a really nice person and it’s lovely to be beautiful on the outside but you need to be beautiful on the inside, so we try to teach that more so than anything else,” Harlem mother of three Adrienne Morrison said.
“I think it’s important to teach your children to value themselves as the whole, not just put the emphasis on the physical because there’s a lot more than that,” Upper West Side resident Angela Ranieri said.MORE NEWS: Reopenings Continue On Broadway As 'Moulin Rouge! The Musical' Resumes Performances
Parents suggest start teaching those lessons early so your children will work hard and be kind.