ben fogle marina fogle son and daughter

Ben Fogle's wife Marina explains why she never calls her daughter 'pretty' – and it's proving controversial

Do you call your children beautiful?

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Marina Fogle divided viewers on Good Morning Britain as she revealed she never compliments her children on their physical looks. The columnist explained: "I think that there is a lot of pressure on, specifically women, to look a certain way and that's not when they're little, that's when they're slightly older. For me I think when you're a parent you have the unique opportunity to tell them what is important in life and what's not important in life."

Marina clarified: "I don't for one minute make my daughter not feel good about how she is as a person. But if we constantly tell our children that they're beautiful, that they're pretty, then they go away thinking, actually pretty is really important, how I look is really important."

Marina Fogle and Leanne Brown debated the topic on air

Ben Fogle's wife appeared on the show with former Real Housewives of Cheshire star Leanne Brown, who argued that complimenting people on their looks gives them a confidence boost. "I think it's all about balance," said Leanne. "You can tell your daughter that they're pretty but also, you can encourage them and praise their efforts as well."

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The debate about whether children should be praised for their appearances or their efforts resonated with many viewers at home. Dozens of parents took to Twitter to share their opinions, many disagreeing with Marina. "I call my daughter beautiful every day because she is inside and out," one fan pointed out. "Beautiful and pretty are words that help build self-confidence and I believe makes children stronger." Another wrote: "I have 2 pretty girls and 1 handsome boy and I tell them this, most days. They also get praised for being polite, friendly, considering others, trying hard etc. Everything in moderation!!!"

Marina shares two children with husband Ben Fogle

The TV debate comes just a few weeks after Marina wrote a column about why she has stopped praising her seven-year-old daughter Iona for her looks. "Iona has become a beautiful person. Her hair has changed from black to blonde and her eyes are now a dazzling shade of blue," Marina wrote in the Mail on Sunday.

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Ben Fogle talks farming:

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"When she marches purposefully into a room, she lights it up. But is she pretty? I ask myself. The truth is that I don't really care. I'll praise her for what she's achieved – her generosity, how good a friend she is, her tenacity – rather than what nature has determined." She added: "By praising them for something over which they have no influence is simply reinforcing the idea that how a woman or girl looks is her crowning achievement. And that is why I choose not to tell my daughter she is pretty."

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