My daughter is a GIRLY girl. She's the kind of teenage girl that works each day like a fashion show. From shoes to hair, she plans out her outfits to match some sort of theme she's going with for the week.
I love it. Even though it is as far from the girl I was at her age, I love that she embraces her feminine spirit and loves being a girl. She can't help being girly even when she's wearing her brother's old sweaters and band t-shirts.
She's always been a dress and princess kind of girl. Never afraid to be proud of being feminine, she wields her girlish charms like a fine sword. She is authentic and real, unafraid of what others might think of her. But sadly that’s not the norm for a lot of kids. They talk about parents who make them feel uncomfortable for the clothes they crave, the hairstyle they want to express themselves with, or for the friends that don’t fall into the taxonomies their parents understand. My daughter’s friends are creative, theatrical, and highly intelligent but all feel the pressure that society puts on them to “fit in” and be “accepted” even though they are still exploring themselves and the world.
All too often women are often too caught up in worrying about what others might think of them and lose something important, the ability to explore.
They stand in the mirrors turning from side to side, afraid of the curves of their bodies not being approved of by strangers. They make themselves sad when they step on the scale and judge themselves based upon what the media tells them is “pretty” or “normal”. And yet these are the same people that are often guilty of telling their children that they are being judged by strangers for the way they dress or play.
Parents are serious these days about trying to make sure everything is politically correct, gender neutral, and everyone is recognized for how special they are. Boys and girls are constantly judged for what they wear, who they play with, what toys are used the most, and sadly it is the adults that are most often the culprits of critical comments.
This generation of kids have been told since birth that they shouldn’t be too girlish or lean too far to masculinity, instead they should be modern children who stay right in the middle of the sexuality scale.
I have a wonderful little friend, E. She is just about the most adorable little girl I have met in a long time. E. knows exactly who she is at 4 years old. E. loves fire trucks and hot pink riding toys, she loves princesses and super heroes. E. has a great Momma who isn’t afraid of being real and true to herself and it shows in the confidant daughter she is raising. E. knows she can be who she wants to be because her Momma provides opportunities for E. to survey all of her options.
Today’s young people have a lot of options for exploration. They shouldn’t be forced into one box marked “Neutral” any more than they should be marked with “Girl” or “Boy”. But the more hubbub you make out of NOT choosing, the more confusing you tend to make things.
I have raised a lot of kids, my daughter being the youngest. They all knew that there were times when someone was going to tell them to stop crying or whining, stop being a bully or hitting, and yes there would be times when I actually had to talk to them about loving who they were no matter what sexuality they chose or who approved or didn’t. Each of the kids have had gay, straight, and Bi friends, and all but my daughter have grown up and figured out for themselves where in that circle they leaned towards. No judgment, just figuring it out.
My daughter knew from the time she was old enough to pick out her own clothes at 2 years old that she loved dresses that swirled around when she spins, shoes that sparkled, and couldn’t wait to be allowed to wear make-up. She’s the girl that everyone looks to when trying to figure out what to wear.
She’s unique and brave enough to go to school dressed like Alice in Wonderland one day and the adorable villain Harley Quinn the next.
Some days she rolls out of bed, grabs some sweats and a t-shirt and pulls her hair in a ponytail while other days she gets up an hour early and walks out of the house looking like a fashion team has just made up their model for the next shoot.
But being a girly girl hasn’t held her back from speaking her mind, standing up for who and what she believes in, and investigating hobbies like archery, shooting, comic books, and more.
In fact I think being brave enough to embrace her love of her own feminine goddess has given her the character and strength to be able to stand away from the crowd on her own and walk proudly in her own direction. She doesn’t need to be told she’s powerful, she just knows on her own that she’s confidant because she was allowed to figure out on her own which way her arrow points.