May 16, 2013

Pretty in Pink

Tough as Nails. 

In the two years I've been a girl mom I've heard A LOT about being a girl mom. 

Don't let her play with princesses, barbies or dolls too much. Don't pander to the male-centric misogynistic cultural view of little girls. Make sure you don't tell her she's pretty, but instead tell her about books. 

Treat her like a princess. Dress her up in tutus and tiaras. Tell her how beautiful she is day in and day out. Help build her self-esteem by buying into a pretty obsessed culture. 

I have a big problem with that dichotomy though. It assumes that you can only raise two kinds of little girls: 

1) Tomboys who are tough, self aware feminists who likely don't shave their armpits and will need to find a submissive male to marry.

2) Self-obsessed vapid beauty queens with standards as limp as their brains who will likely go to college searching for an MRS degree and a man to take care of her. 

What about the little girl in the middle though? What about the mother in the middle? 

The little girl who loves dinosaurs, Thomas the Train, being outside and climbing as much as she loves bows, tutus, dresses and pretty shoes

The mom who refuses to let her daughter wear anything with princess written on it, encourages a budding love of science but buys bows in bulk and has no problem dressing her daughter in head to toe pink. 

That's the kind of girl I'm raising. One who demands a "pwetty bow please momma!" every single morning, but is happy as a clam playing in the dirt. One who loves to wear sparkly shoes but has banged her nose twice, scraped her knees and bumped her head countless time in the past week all in the process of adventuring and exploring. One who loves to put on her "makeup" but can already count to ten, sing her ABCs, knows her colors and loves nothing more than engineering a beautiful skyscraper out of blocks. I'm raising that kind of girl who will hopefully grow into that kind of woman. One who is confident in her body her looks, who is self aware enough that with femininity comes a certain power, but knows not to abuse that power by placing to much importance on it both when dealing with herself and other people. One who isn't afraid to get messy outside or in the kitchen. One who understands the difference between beauty on the inside and beauty on the outside. One who even though she might look soft and delicate on the outside is known for her inner strength, her courage of conviction and beautiful heart. 

I hope she'll be the kind of woman my momma is, the kind of woman I still struggle to be, the kind of woman who inspired the phrase,