Enter this next video. It popped up on my facebook feed, and I've pretty much been obsessed with it since. It's made me do a few things. First, want to learn how to poetry slam because it looks bad ass. Second, reevaluate the language I use and way I see my role in raising my daughter. It's titled "Pretty" and as most of us with little girls know, it's a word we use quite often. Please watch, and I'll elaborate below.
I've watched it a few times now, and each time it's made me cry like a baby. What am I teaching my children about women? About how we look? About loving ourselves? About the importance of being "pretty"? I do know this. I've recently had a drastic shift in thinking and can confidently say I will never have plastic surgery. My tummy may have skin and marks that will never go away. I earned those bad boys turning two cells into the most amazing human beings I've ever met. My once fabulous rack, that while still pretty fabulous is a lot less perkilated? They took two newborn babies and fed them(well), grew them, comforted them, lowered their risk of cancer, obesity, asthma, allergies and more. My double chin? Well, I can't honestly give it many redeeming attributes-but it ties me to my family and I could have it a lot worse. And if I *did* change those things, I would no longer be exactly as I'm meant to be. What kind of message am I sending to my kids, specifically my sweet little daughter. What if I died getting new boobs?
As far back as I can remember, everyone told me I looked just like my mother. Just.Like.Her. And guess what, my mother hates the way she looks. She constantly talks about how ugly she is. Constantly. So what does that say to the little girl that looks Just.Like.Her? I'm using my "I'm seriously angry voice" now. I will NOT lay that burned on my child. Real women are not like the ones in magazines. The women pictured in magazines aren't like the women pictured in magazines. Women come in all shapes and sizes and are good at a hell of a lot of things other than having great tits or a tight ass. Perfection is completely unattainable and frankly really stupid. Be proud of who YOU are. Yes YOU. You're fucking awesome.
This is to my daughter. I promise you that I will do my best to help you see that. I won't alter my body to make it look more suitable to our cultural preferences. I won't cut myself down in front of you (and I'll try my hardest to not to do it all) so that you can love yourself no matter what you look like. To my most beautiful 12 year old cousin who thinks she's ugly. Not only is she about as far from ugly as you can get, but you are worth infinitely more than what you look like. You are pretty talented, pretty kind and pretty freakin amazing. I can't wait to see who you grow to become and the life force you will unleash on the universe!
To all the women out there who start picking themselves apart every time they open a magazine, turn on the tv or look in the mirror. STOP. Right now. Individuality is where it's at. I'm full of piss, vinegar, feminism, opinions, optimism, LOVE, nurturing, excitement, sometimes farts and I AM AWESOME just the way I am. I love you, and I want you to love you just as much. So be brave, show yourself some love in the comments below! I want all the women you know to get angry about this too-share me with your friends :)