Where are all my girl moms at? Lately it seems that #boymom posts are all the rage. As a proud girl mom of two I scroll through these posts and ask myself how much different my oldest daughter is from these boys.
My three year old daughter plays hard. She can run with the best of them, swim her heart out, and when she gets knocked over (while I’m running to her) she’s gotten up and has moved on to the next. Half her pants have holes in the knees from her rough and tumble lifestyle. However, what little girl doesn’t love princesses? I know mine loves the movie Tangled. A big applause goes out to the brilliant marketing department over at Disney, their Dream Big Princess campaign is pure genius. This campaign highlights Merida’s hunting skills and how she’s wildly independent, Punzel’s (aka Rapunzel) determination and her ability to hold her own, shines a light on Cinderella’s integrity and hard-work ethic. How Snow White is kind, Pocahontas is loyal, Mulan is fierce. And leaves every little girl feeling like they are meant to become something great, to DREAM BIG. I know I am tired as a #girlmom feeling like I have to fit my daughters into this cookie cutter mold just because our kids are female. Our daughters can be just as tough, wild, creative, messy, bold and strong as boys. And all of these things should be encouraged.
We truly love to dress up, we love having tea parties, wearing jewelry and getting pedicures. This doesn’t mean we are fragile, weak or can’t stand our ground. Surely we don’t want our daughters just sitting pretty in the corner with their hair tucked behind their ears. I’ll be the first to tell you that this is not how my girl rolls. My daughter lives big, plays hard, and loves even harder. Nothing intimidates her, nothing. I don’t think this girl has one fearless bone in her body. And I am darn proud of this. It makes me wonder why moms feel pressured to fit their daughters into some pink mold of perfection. The problem arises when little girls grow up hiding behind a layer that doesn’t even belong to them.
Truth be told, I’m terrified of the teenage years ahead and I don’t want my daughters placing an unhealthy focus on body image, on makeup and the constant battle of measuring up. When looking at my daughters, the cup runneth over.
For me, I rarely wear make up, occasionally mascara and lip gloss when I go on a date perhaps, but, my usual is sunblock and lip balm. I hope that by not putting an unhealthy focus on my outward appearance will teach my daughters, that yes they are given this face and this body, but they were really given their spirit. Their spirit is what I want them to hone in on, their character.
Girls are constantly feeling insecure and not comfortable in their own skin today. As daughters of God their lives are incredibly precious. My husband and I know we will teach the importance of tact, integrity and all the fruits of the spirit. I look back and cringe when I remember lathering on the CoverGirl foundation when I was a teenager, and it did not even match my skin tone. I remember painting on the eyeliner and just looking in the mirror hoping that my face paint would catch an eye. Now as a mother, I am trying everything in my power to instill in my girls self-confidence and determination to stay grounded and busy. Not having time to sit and wallow about minuscule drama. I hope my girls have their sights set high and serious goals to achieve.
Take Mulan, it was required for her Chinese heritage to dress up in the famous historical costume of hanfu to find her match to marry. But clearly, this was just not what this young woman was meant for, She quickly proved to her entire nation that she could run with the boys. Yes, this is a Disney movie (based on a Chinese legend), but it gives little girls the motivation and inspiration to dream bigger. The reassurance that they don’ t have to be like everybody else, that it is okay to be different.
So yes, maybe there is a time and a place for a “massive pink bow” but I think it’s really important that us as moms think twice before we make a comment, or to be more aware of what kind of model we are to our daughters when it comes to one’s outside appearance. For all darling girls are gorgeous, and when exactly is the moment when they become anything but? Their pursuits, goals, and dreams should never be squashed or pushed aside because they are women.