A lesson for ourselves and our daughters!

          I saw this video on facebook last night and it blew me away! As an author I always try to portray my characters as confidant, smart, strong and beautiful. Why then as women in real life are we not encouraging the same thing in each other or more importantly why aren’t we teaching these things to out daughters?

 

Over the past year or so, I’ve realized that even though women have come a long way-we still have an even longer way to go. I was never a huge bra burning feminist. I was too young to have been part of that movement and of course far removed from the 50’s and 60’s housewife. My mom stayed home for part of my childhood and worked when my brother and I got older.

I always thought I couldn’t be a feminist unless I was a militant about it. I’ve reached the point though that I ‘m tired of society pitting women against each other. And by society I mean men. Not real men who are secure in who they are and respect women as their partners. No, I’m referring to the insecure, brutish, controlling, misogynistic ones who can’t stand to see a woman as CEO of a company, and definitely don’t want to see one in the White House.

These people set stay at home moms and working women at odds with each other. You know the argument -You can’t be a good mom if you work full time or that staying at home isn’t really a job. They love to stand back and watch us fight over this while they can work behind the scenes to take away our rights or refuse to pass legislation that would help working mothers.

Then we have the media, who perpetuate the Hollywood ideal of beauty. Have you ever seen these women in real life. They are itty, bitty, scary skinny. Botoxed,photoshopped, hair extensions, spray tanned, they have personal make-up artists, plastic surgery, it’s a place full of eating disorders and fragile egos and yet we the people buy into what they’re selling us.

As a group women don’t fight back against these things-we end up fighting each other. We feel the need to be in competition with every female around us, especially when we are younger. We are jealous, we are vengeful and we only ever end up hurting ourselves.

We need to teach our daughter’s a better way. There should be new rules when it comes to raising your daughters, things they should and should never do.

NEVER

Call a woman a slut or a whore or talk about her bedroom habits. Men aren’t called that and sex is supposed to be enjoyable. Your supposed to have a very healthy sexual appetite.

SHOULD

We should be talking instead about her safety. Personal and sexual. We should be giving our girls the tools they need to make good decisions, not by using fear but straight up facts. She should understand that if she ever feels pressured to do or try anything she can and should say no. Teach her to kick ass not be a victim. Show real her that real strength isn’t in your fist but it’s in your mind and in your spirit.

NEVER

Fight over a man-never, ever, ever. I can’t stress that enough. Don’t be THAT desperate girl. If a man is allowing 2 women to fight over him, he is totally NOT worth it. He allows it because it makes him feel good about himself. What could feel better then to have women fighting over you? (It’s why I hate The Bachelor) He doesn’t really care anything about either of you if he’s letting it continue. If he’s leading one of you on. It’s a trap. The we can be friends line is just another way of saying “I don’t want you right now but just in case this doesn’t work out, you’ll be waiting in the wings.” Teach your girls never to be someone’s 2nd choice. There are too many worthy men out there to fight over one!

SHOULD

Teach her that a man doesn’t define who she is. A man is supposed to be her partner. They should lift each other up. Be there for each other when things are tough. Treat each other with the utmost respect. They should have separate interests. They should always have laughter together. They should be able to share their deepest secrets without judgement…Period…To me if you can’t tell your partner everything because you’re afraid of how they’ll react, you’re in the wrong relationship and it either be a lonely, shallow one or it won’t last. She should never be in a rush when it comes to making the big commitment-if they are meant to be, it won’t matter if they wait a few years before they exchange rings. Going into a life together , I think it’s the most important thing that she and her partner have the big issues (life goals, life styles, parenting styles, sexual desires, interests…etc) should be known. It’s not fair to anyone once the ring goes on for one of these things to rear its ugly head and you discover that you’re aren’t on the same page. And where you may get along on most everything else, if one of these things are off it will be like a giant black cloud looming over your head for the rest of your life.

NEVER

Criticize how she looks and don’t allow her to criticize how other girls look either. Our girls need to be confident with themselves but NOT at the expense of another female. Never compare her to another girl. She’s not anyone else so don’t do it. Even small comments have a lasting impact. I once asked my daughter why she didn’t wear make-up and the hurt on her face made me feel like the WORST mother on the planet.

SHOULD

Praise her beauty because EVERY girl is beautiful. Teach her to be healthy by example. Teach her to love herself no matter what size she is. I get really tired of people assuming that if you’re a plus-size woman, you must be lazy or eat 3000 calories a day….I know plenty of people who exercise and eat normally and are still curvy. We need to keep in mind that there are indeed things like genetics, chemicals & hormones in our foods, medications that play havoc with our body system functions, chronic diseases, jobs, stress and a myriad of other things that affect our lives in a pretty big way and we may not even be aware of it.

I’m lucky, my daughter has a pretty easy-going personality and doesn’t let much get to her. She’s a curvy girl and has no issue with it.  She walks 3 or 4 miles a day. She loves her red hair-which I’m thrilled about because when I was younger gingers were teased all the time-and she is one of the kindest girls I’ve ever known. She’s taught me more about acceptance of myself and about caring for others than anyone else in my life. She’s still innocent in so many ways, life hasn’t knocked her around and its nice to see things through her eyes on a daily basis. Take time to spend with your girls. Don’t treat them like your friend because you’re not. Do show them and tell them how proud you are of them, how strong they are, how smart and beautiful they are.

 

In the end we are the biggest influence in our daughters lives. We are there as they grow. They do pull away once the teens hit but don’t lose faith. If you’ve given them the tools they need when they were younger they might surprise you. They will stumble and they may even fall. You will be the bad guy when you have to give them consequences(don’t ever be afraid to do this, too many people now don’t want their kids to be mad, or hurt or to hate them and you aren’t doing them any favors by giving in) They will say they hate you and other mean things that make you want to cry-I’ve been through it. You just take a deep breath and know that it won’t always be that way.

I loved the message of the video above. Trying to live up to a ridiculous ideal is insane. No amount of make-up will cover up a flawed personality. Perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect bodies, perfect homes don’t hide a selfish, self-serving, self-centered person. Beauty fades, bodies sag. Perfect homes don’t really impress anyone (Most people gush to your face and then SHRED you behind your back about your need to be a show off )

Have your daughter look in the mirror with no make-up and tell you what she likes about her face. What is beautiful and unique to her-don’t let her tell you nothing. If you have to, go first and do the same thing. I know for some it might not be easy but try. The more you do it, the more you believe it and soon enough whenever you look in the mirror you won’t be seeing the flaws, only the perfections. I’ve done this and it was hard at first. I’m not a fresh-faced 20 yr old anymore. The wrinkles are getting more pronounced and that can be a little hard to take…lol..but I like my eyes. I used to always wish I had blue eyes like my brother. He was a tall, blonde haired, blue-eyed, thin guy and it pissed me off that I was round, brown hair and brown-eyed. I died my hair every shade from bleach blonde to dark purple and now I’ve finally reached a place where I like my dark hair and eyes and pale skin. My eyes are a little larger, flecked with a bit of green and I’m lucky to have long lashes. So that’s what I like about me….What do you like about you?

We need to teach our girls that as women we need to support each other, be there for each other not compete, not sabotage, not damage each other. We need to inspire our girls to run away from women who will run over anyone or anything to get what they want. Who have no regard for others. Who love to hurt, humiliate and put down other women. Who think they’re better, somehow superior or better than other women. Who revel in the pain of others and find joy in it. I’ve known some twisted females like this and all I can say is that they have reaped what they’ve sewn and will continue to until the day they die. We can do better!!!!!!!!!!

Our girls need to learn to express themselves and feel good about it. Know that she’s beautiful no matter what. If she has a purple mohawk and wears combat boots, if she’s a jeans and t-shirt girl, if she’s a band geek, if she’s into sports, or academics. If she’s tall or short. Big or small. If her skin is dark or very pale, if she has acne or freckles. If her hair is curly or straight. If she’s tattooed or pierced. If she’s gay or straight. If she works or stays at home. WHATEVER she is, celebrate her!!!! Be proud of her!!!

Our daughters need to know they can achieve anything they set their mind to with a little hard work they can make things happen. They should know they don’t NEED a man to be a complete person, to be secure, to be wealthy, to be special, to be needed, to have a purpose, to be beautiful, to be confident, to make a difference, to make the world a better place, to own a home, to travel the world to do or be anything they want to be.

 

Let’s give our daughters what we may never have had. To be confident, to be proud and to feel beautiful not because other people made them feel that way but because THEY FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT THEMSELVES. Make-up, clothes and hair DO NOT make the woman!!!

 

Sierra

 

 

 

 

 

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