I read this article with my morning tea. Even though I’m not a parent and I found myself reading it from a personal perspective, it still hit home.
I was very much a tomboy as a child… well in all honesty, until my wedding… at 30. I mean sure in my 20’s I finally started wearing makeup when I went out, carried a purse, and had multiple pairs of shoes, but I didn’t really embrace dresses and enjoy being feminine until it was so celebrated during the process of wedding planning and the day of my wedding made that it was made fun (read: acceptable) for me.
At first it was embarrassing. Being fussed over, tugged, pulled, trimmed, painted, draped, all of it made me intensely uncomfortable. Those things were supposed to be superficial and silly and therefore NOT what I do. The desire to not be the stereotypical girl even made me question my life choices, “Do I really want to leave architecture where I’m working as the only female project head to go…. cook?” “Can I still feel strong and capable if I can’t pull my equal weight financially in my relationship?” “Am I still a partner if I’m at home and he’s at work even if it is temporary?”
When did it become a negative way to view yourself? When did I become so ruled by the exact limitations that I was fighting so hard against? It’s ironic really. I’m fighting so hard to not be in the societal box that I’ve put myself in another box with a whole different set of rules and regulations. Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t still push the boundaries of stereotype and I don’t think the author of the article is either. I think the point is that we can feel strong and empowered and still wear pink lipstick if we want to. Like the #LikeAGirl campaign is seeking to change the stigma that to do something “like a girl” means to do so inferiorly and be somehow less, I want to reshape my perspective on myself. I can be a girl and still defy the stereotypes that seek to confine all of us.
Just because I want to put on a dress, I like to crochet flowers, and my full time job is my home for the time being that doesn’t mean I can’t still have my “screw you” attitude! It’s not about gender. It’s about being true to yourself regardless of what others think. If I find myself being guided in spite of what others think, I am equally as ruled by it. So there’s the motivation this week.
Especially if that means you get up everyday and do what you love the best you can.
So go own it. Be you. You’re the only one who can and that is powerful.