One thing about being connected and online is the question of how much do you share and how much do you keep to yourself. As I watch this video for the 2nd time and cry for the 2nd time, I am reminded of a time when I almost asked my 11 year old why she couldn’t be more ‘like a girl.’ If you haven’t seen it yet, please take three minutes to watch it.
Yes, I am embarrassed, horrified and ashamed to have let such a thought enter into my mind. How dare I let society’s definition of how we should act and how we should look influence me. I have always thought out of the box so why did I allow myself to try to put her in a box?
I was frustrated because I had just spent $75 and 3 hours getting her hair straightened and then curled into gorgeous ringlets. As soon as we got home, she combed out the curls, put her hair into a ponytail, and put on a baseball cap. When I saw what she had done to her hair, I wanted to yell at her and ask why she couldn’t be more ‘like a girl.’
Luckily, for once, I thought before I spoke and as I looked at her in tennis shoes, gym shorts, t-shirt, ponytail and baseball cap, all I could think of was how different she was from me when I was her age. I was a ‘girley’ girl. I ran, threw, climbed trees and played football with the boys too but I did it with curls, painted nails and cute flowery pink clothes. I know that we are all not made from the same cloth and I am grateful for all of our differences.
I have a wonderfully polite, independent, brilliant, sarcastic, motivated, artistic, and opinionated daughter. She is what I call a quiet storm, she doesn’t talk back or cause commotions, she lets people skip her in line, she speaks in a very soft voice and if you don’t hear her the first two times, she stops talking so you better catch it the first time around. She is not me. I do talk back and cause commotions, I don’t let people skip me or anyone around me and I speak in a loud voice to make sure that everyone hears what I have to say.
She is MORRAH and I am blessed to have her in my life. Thank God before I could actually say it, I came to myself and was appreciative that she is and will always be ‘like a girl’ because she IS A GIRL!!!.
- She is a girl who loves wearing short shorts, not the sexy Daisy Duke kind, but the nylon gym shorts from 30 years ago.
- She is a girl who read Divergent and Insurgent but refused to see the movie.
- She is a girl who painted her headboard and bedframe because she believed when she was told that she was an artist who had talent.
- She is a girl who loves playing the piano but hates practicing.
- She is a girl who loves wear crazy mix-matched socks in her hightop Converse shoes.
- She is a girl and I love her.
I am so ashamed that I almost allowed public opinion to reduce my daughter into a rigid formula of being coquettish, conceited, submissive, uncertain and WEAK.
I have shared this post because I was moved to speak out against the need we (yes, myself included) have to label people. Labeling is something that I teach my students to do as we classify information, it is not something that should be applied to people.
We must remember to #RESPECT and #APPRECIATE one another.