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This Morning guest won’t tell daughter she’s pretty

Mum-of-three admits she might have to "fork out for therapy" for the girl

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This Morning fans were left fuming when a guest admitted she refuses to tell her seven-year-old daughter she’s pretty.

Clare O’Reilly believes it would send the wrong message to the girl because looks are merely a “genetic lottery” and have “nothing to do with her”.

And the mum-of-three had viewers in a lather when she accepted that her stance could leave young Annie emotionally scarred in later life, and that Clare might have to “fork out for a lot of therapy”.

The mother, who also has two older sons, aged 14 and nine, told hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford: “When I had Annie, from the second she was born, the first thing the midwife said was that she was beautiful.

“Everybody knows no newborn baby is beautiful but she was praised for being being beautiful from the very beginning.

“It just jarred with me slightly because the boys had never been called that when they were so tiny.

Clare with Eamonn and Ruth in the studio (Credit: ITV)

“Then, as she grew, it just seemed to be that her appearance seemed to merit comment a lot more than the boys’.

Read more: Holly Willoughby warned to “be careful” by This Morning guest

“The boys were always praised for their physicality, what they could do, how strong they were, how fast they could run, but with her it was very much, ‘Isn’t her dress beautiful?’ and, ‘Doesn’t she look beautiful?’ and, ‘She’s so pretty’.

“Her looks are nothing to do with her, they’re just a genetic lottery.

“So why should I praise her for something that has nothing to do with her when actually there are myriad things she’s wonderful at?”

Clare said she did praise Annie for her other attributes.

Young Annie’s looks were the topic of debate (Credit: ITV)

“She’s the kindest friend, she’s got masses of empathy, she loves animals, she’s fantastic at art, she works really hard to learn to play the piano,” the mum said.

“I do think she’s gorgeous but it’s not the sum of her parts or the fabric of who she is.”

Clare insisted Annie had never asked her if she was pretty and that her daughter found “sunsets and dogs” beautiful, rather than people.

She said a recent survey revealed over a third of girls aged between seven and 10 believed looks were a woman’s most important attribute, which she found “terrifying”.

Eamonn was worried for Annie’s self-esteem (Credit: ITV)

But Eamonn told her: “I agree with you, but what I also find maybe more frightening is if you don’t reinforce that with her, somewhere in her life she will wake up, she will be 35 and she will say, ‘My mum never told me I was beautiful’.”

Clare replied: “She could obviously do that, in which case I will be forking out for a lot of therapy.

“But she will wake up at whatever age and say, ‘My mum praised the fabric that’s important, she praised that I’m a good friend, she praised that I have a strong moral compass, that I know right from wrong.

Clare takes a family selfie (Credit: ITV)

“Those are the things I want her to carry through because ultimately those are the things that are important.”

However, viewers took to Twitter to share their outrage.

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* This Morning is on ITV at 10.30am weekdays.

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