She knows. Far too early, much too soon...right now, a breath between now and her 5th birthday, she exclaims matter of factly,
"I have fat legs and a big bum".
I am sad. I don't want her or them, the little ones to know...to know that this world hurls opinions and expectations at women, girls...little girls...about who they should be, and how the puzzle piece of their life fits into this world.
I want to stand between her and the ugliness of conformity- I want to stand on guard as a 37 year old woman who dealt with ridicule and relentless teasing. I want to be armour, I want to be a wall, I want to be shelter. I want to be inpenetrable, because I can wade through the reason and the cause...I can be teflon, and I know where worth lies.
I think about the lessons of growing up different...I think about the challenges of not being the smartest and nowhere on the spectrum of pretty. I think about not having all of the trendy touch stones that somehow qualified worth in those school time years, and I know that nothing material would have appeased my asymmetry to the middle and the norm anyway. I think on my learnings about people and kindness and acceptance and embracing the beauty of nonconformity...and I know that my hard won psuedo wisdom was preserved for moments like this.
The building of a girl is directly related to a blueprint - and to the character of the women in her life. Her influencers...her models...the ones who live life in front of her, and what they hold important.
To grow a self confident, unapologetic, self accepting game changing little girl, I believe she must have role models who are fearless in their own lives. She must observe on a daily basis, women who are embracing themselves fully...spiritually, emotionally, physically. She must look upward to women who keep trying, keep loving, keep failing, and keep getting up. Her little eyes must watch women who love themselves, her little hands need the assured grasp of the confident, and her little feet must charge into the future in the clear tracks of those who have blazed a clear trail.
Surely she is more. More than her appearance, more than her physical presence. She is smart. She is funny. She is strong, and silly and all things lovable. What she thinks matters. What she feels is real. And all of those things, as a woman who is around her? They MATTER to me. They matter deeply. They matter more than anything else on this earth, because she is the future.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it- is simple:
Keep trying to be the one that shows her how it's done. After all, everything you are, is who she will be in the future.