My daughter’s looks were a hot topic of conversation from the moment of her birth. Who did she look like? The family debated this endlessly. They never reached consensus. My mother-in-law insisted that, as a newborn, my daughter looked just like my husband did. On the other hand, my mother claimed that my daughter was practically a carbon copy of herself at that age.
My daughter didn’t look like me. Yet I was told not to worry as babies change so much from day to day that she would eventually grow to be, if not my spitting image, a stunning amalgam of my husband’s and my best features. So I waited while breastfeeding and changing diapers hoping for my daughter to morph into a gorgeous version of me.
After the first few months of life my daughter lost the newborn look. Her eyes stayed blue, though and I hoped that this would be her link to me. My eyes have always been my best feature, the one that I emphasize with makeup. I longed to strut down the street with a beautiful daughter peeking out of the top of the carrier and for people to comment on how we made a stunning mother-daughter pair. Instead people insisted that she didn’t look like me.
It irked me that nobody remarked a similarity between my daughter and myself however everyone told me to wait and that her face would change with each passing day. Meanwhile my mother and mother-in-law became engaged in a catty competition about which grandmother my daughter most closely resembled.
It’s worth mentioning that I gave birth to my daughter in May 2006, right after Katie Holmes had Suri and just before Angelina Jolie had Shiloh. Pregnancy and newborns were the new fashion. As an expecting mother I had basked in attention from friends, family and complete strangers in New York City. Everyone told me that I was destined to have a beautiful daughter — beautiful like her mother.
I should admit that I have always loved being the focus of attention and getting complimented on my appearance and that I have a tendency to become jealous when others steal my spotlight. After a few months of constantly being told how beautiful my daughter was without hearing any kind words directly pertaining to me, I became somewhat peeved.
Then, one day, when my daughter was a little over one year old something maddening happened. It was a lovely May morning and I had decided to take my daughter out for a stroll in Prospect Park.