There are many messages our daughters hear in the world today. They come in all different shapes and sizes and from all different kinds of mouthpieces. Some will say to just "lean in" a little more to your life - give more, do more, be more. Others will say that a woman's place is in the home and nowhere else. Some will say that for a woman to have worth, she must earn it in the working world.
Be fat! Be skinny! Be curvy! Be organic! Be a lady! Be funny! Be outgoing! Be smart! Have kids! Don't have kids! Get married! Don't get married! Go to college! Don't go to college! Be this, do that! Everyone else knows better than you. The list goes on and on and on and on. It's overwhelming, demanding and in no way, fosters independent growth and thinking. Actually, I find it downright depressing and upsetting at times.
I've been giving a lot of thought lately to the messages my daughter hears on a daily basis and the ones that she will hear as she grows up and the more I think about all those messages being pumped out to our girls as if being manufactured on an assembly line, it brings me sheer distress. I remember growing up, I heard these same messages and more and I remember how confusing it can all be while trying to grow-up and figure out who you are in this world, especially as a girl. My parents did an amazing job with the messages they told us girls within the walls of our home but once we stepped outside into the big bad world, those same messages that fostered courage, independence, and strength in me and my sisters seemed to fall away easily to the influence of peer pressures and more.
I can think back to my own experiences as a young woman but at the end of the day, the world will be a totally and completely different place for my daughter growing up than it ever was for me. Chickie will have so many more challenging issues to face than you, I, or our parents ever did.
Having said all of this, out of all the messages my daughter will hear in her lifetime, if she were to ever hear just one and hold onto it with all her might, it would be this:
“You are your own divine person. God made you in His image so you are beautiful in every way. Love and forgive those who taunt and make fun of you – they need it the most. Weak people lash out at those who are strong and able. You have been given much so much will be expected. Live not to please others, but live to make a difference in the world; every day you live you will be leaving your mark on the world and the people you come in contact with – make your impression positive and make it count. Through the gifts and talents you have been blessed with use them to be an inspiration and a tool for teaching others. If I could protect you from every bad thing in the world I would gladly take on all the pain and sadness you will one day be forced to endure…unfortunately most of it will come from the hands of others but know this – No one else’s feelings or words can have power over you and at the end of the day, it’s not eternal to your destiny.”