Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Girls Are

My daughter came home a few weeks ago full of front-page news from middle school.

There is a girl there who has a bigger chest than me. (I guess this surprises AB because I am an adult and this girl is still a child, and I hate to say it, but lots and lots of people are much more well-endowed than I am.)

Girls have pink ombres, and hair every color of the rainbow. (If I were younger and braver, I might give a pink ombre a spin, but (1) I am not young, (2) I am not that brave, (3) I am not that cool to pull of a pink/blonde ombre. I am preparing myself for the "Mom, can I dye my hair" question that is sure to come.)

Girls locker room smells like feet, boys locker room smells like Axe. (First, how do you know what the boys locker room smells like? There is no second.)

You can't save seats at lunch. This is a major social dilemma.

You can't chew gum in Mr. L's class, but you can in everybody else's.

Boys do not know how to fold their gym suits.

So she showed one how. Folded it for him.

Of all the news from middle school so far, this is one I took exception to. That boy needs to learn how to fold his own gym suit, and my daughter needs to stay out of it.

I know this because I was young and really dumb once, and I thought that it was cute to play the part of the maternal girl, folding and being girly and housewifey and giggling and doing girl things. I thought that's what I was supposed to do.

I wish someone had told middle school me, with my permed hairdo and my pink glasses and my try-to-be-cool-and-pretty attitude a few things about girls. And none of them involve folding.

1. Girls are strong. They don't need a boy's attention to know that they have a purpose. They don't need to prove their girly-ness to anybody. They don't have to be seen on someone's arm, or in someone's car to be satisfied. They do not have to be sexy or act sexy or prove their sexiness in anyway, shape or form.

2. Confidence and inside beauty are what makes a girl beautiful. Girls don't need make-up to show their beauty, they don't have to be skinny to be beautiful, and they don't have to wear a short skirt to get what they want.

3. Girls are smart. And creative. They don't have to play dumb to get attention.

What if someone had told me that I was strong and smart and beautiful on the inside? Would I have had the confidence to say no to others? To go my own way? To stand up for what I believed in rather than follow the crowd? To be friends with everybody?


Maybe it wouldn't have changed the course of my fate, the knowing of these things. But I know them now, and I feel like we need to tell the next generations that the world is wrong. Make-up and a number on the scale and being the Flavor of the Week for a certain boy don't define who you are.

God has known each of us since we were formed, known our purpose and our days and the mistakes we would make and the accomplishments we would celebrate. That knowledge allows Him insight into who we are and what we're all about, and in turn gives Him the authority to ultimately define who we are.

Not society. Not current trends in fashion or makeup or hair. Not music or TV or Hollywood.

Him.


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