I’m about to jump into a G+ hangout with some incredible women. The folks from ONE want to talk about women in Africa. I have some questions but mostly I’m looking forward to listening and learning.
Last night someone pointed me to a post titled The Inevitable Ugliness of Women. It includes the sentence:
There will come a day when my daughter will feel ugly for the rest of her life.
Really? It struck a chord with many of my peers. I was left scratching my head. I certainly had days where I didn’t feel perfect but I never felt ugly. I’m a very average woman I was a pretty average kid. Feeling ugly is not inevitable.
Actually, not that average. I grew up by the beach. I was the slightly ethnic looking girl with the kinky dark hair surrounded by girls with straight blonde hair. I probably did stick out. My cousin looked at my fifth grade soccer picture and wrote, “You’re surrounded by a sea of blondes…”.
And I was. Maybe I should have felt ugly?
We knew who the pretty girls were in school and I know who the pretty moms are in town. I’m not saying that I don’t notice how people look but I am confused when I hear people who think that all women feel ugly.
I don’t think that’s true.
I also don’t believe that the mean girls phenomenon is a given.
I don’t think that little of women.
My husband never tells our daughter she is pretty. He tells her that she looks pretty and then tells her why. For example, “Your hair looks pretty like that.” I’m less mindful of every word, but that’s sort of the nature of our marriage. He watches his words and I apologize a lot.
I know that I’ve never told our children that their looks would bring them anything. I’ve never told them that life is better or easier when you’re attractive because I don’t think it is. I think the world is actually much more complicated for people who make a living based on their appearances. I’ve told my son and my daughter that life is easy for people who work hard and who give more than they take.
I guess what I’m asking on International Women’s Day is that you treat your daughters like you treat your sons.