How do you follow a post that received more than 2.5 million views in its first 36 hours?
First, you say “thank you.” Thank you so much for your feedback on Roadkill Goldfish. I am grateful for the dialogue that took place on the site.
For those who agreed with me, thank you for your support. For those who didn’t, I’m good with that. We can agree to disagree.
It’s perfectly okay to disagree with me. Prove your point with facts, and I’ll consider your argument. I conceded to those who raised good points I may not have initially agreed with, and I appreciate you gave me something to think about. That’s what conversation and debate is all about. Open-mindedness. Respectful interaction.
Here’s what’s not okay: wishing ill on a child. You get the full wrath of every Mama Bear on the planet for this one. The whole idea of my post is that our girls are beautiful and valuable, and they shouldn’t cheapen themselves. Is there really a problem with this message?
Here’s another thing that’s not okay: F-bombs. Vulgarity is no excuse for a lack of a thesaurus. Yeah, I get that you’re passionate about allowing pre-teen girls to express their sexuality, but pick another adjective. Coincidentally, f is also the first letter of “facetious.” It means “not serious” or “in jest.” As in, I was being facetious when talking about duct taping my child’s head. Give me some credit. I unconditionally love my kids and would never hurt them. I would go total ninja on anyone who did. Besides, they’ve used all the duct tape to make wallets and purses.
Why Do We Do This to Our Girls?
My daughter and I have talked about this topic many times before Miley made sports fans afraid to bring Number One props to football games. She gets it, but it doesn’t hurt to remind her (and thousands like her) that she is an amazing and valuable person whose worth is not dictated by her body or willingness to titillate. The VMAs brought a rush of maternal emotion to the surface. Was it harsh to single Miley out? Yes, but my daughter doesn’t have the same connection to the other performers. As a mom, my heart breaks for Miley and the countless girls who feel like they need to do these shocking things to be relevant or important or loved. I want to hug Miley and tell her she is too precious to allow handlers to mold her into this caricature of womanhood. I would love to have a time machine to take her 20 years into the future so she can see with the benefit of hindsight.
Those of you who do not have daughters will never truly understand what it’s like to see that beautiful baby grow up and be constantly demoralized by a society that picks her apart. Oh my goodness, they are perfect! Ask a group of junior high girls what they think of themselves and you’ll hear, “I’m too fat,” “I’m not pretty,” “Everyone else has a boyfriend,” “I’m the only virgin,” or “Why doesn’t anybody like me?” Why do they feel this way? Because we as adults support a culture that tells them that thin is sexy, that ugly girls are worthless, that there is something wrong with you if you don’t have a partner, virginity is a disease, and we don’t love you enough to spend time with you. No wonder these girls do whatever it takes to get someone – anyone- to notice them.
Girls, based on my blog, you have more than 2.5 million people who have noticed you and want to lift you up so you can live a great life. Learn from us old ladies who made mistakes. Here’s what we’ve learned:
- It’s okay to be a lady. Really.
- You will experience a broken heart. Most guys will be distraught about losing you, but a select few will be complete jerks who frankly don’t care. Listen to your friends. If they say the guy is trouble, stay away.
- Men are not your enemy, nor are they your toys. Yes, each boy or man you meet has feelings, hopes, dreams, likes, dislikes and more. Treat him with respect.
- Love and respect yourself. Look at yourself. What’s not to love? You are a beautiful and unique creature, and there is no one like you anywhere else in the world. I know there are times when it seems like there is no one out there for you, but be patient. Friends and boyfriends arrive when the time is right. There are people out there who NEED to know you, people whose lives would be better if they spent just five minutes with you. Know that about yourself. You are infinitely lovable. You are infinitely valuable. Never sell yourself short.
- You will never make everybody happy, and some people are going to dislike because you may think differently or you just happen to breathe air. That’s the lesson this old lady had to re-learn this week.