30 Oct A letter to my daughters.
Dear L.E. and McRae,
You don’t read my blog.
That’s OK, you’re only 10 and 7. You’d find it pretty boring.
Someday you will though. Someday you’ll do some sort of hologram search on Google and read this is.
So though I will certainly write you words on paper, it struck me that in 13 years of writing online, I’d never left a letter for you in the one place it might actually survive. (Last Thursday’s post was about you too.)
Sometimes it feels like you’re little kids but other days it feels like you’re on the edge of becoming teenagers. It’s only a matter of time until I put too much peanut butter on your sandwich and you laugh/cry to me in the kitchen. Those days are coming.
Last summer I met some teenagers at a camp I spoke at that are already where you are headed. I asked them what they were afraid of. I asked thousands of them that one question as part of my speech.
About 90% of the girls said the same thing.
What they feared most was that they were fat. They feared they were ugly. They feared they weren’t pretty.
Why did they feel this way? I think there are a lot of reasons but one of them is that pop culture tells them that.
For instance, yesterday I saw this headline on the Huffington Post:
This is the cover.
That is the model.
This is what it means to be “plus size” in our world right now and I fear self image will not be better by the time you are old enough to know what that phrase means. That girl would have been considered skinny in the world of Marilyn Monroe.
This is the world I am sending you out to. Did they just do that headline as a way to garner controversy and increase web traffic? Maybe, but let’s not pretend for a second that second guessing 13 year olds who see stuff like this factor in the nuances of web traffic when they judge themselves.
Someday L.E. and McRae you will not feel pretty. Or skinny. Or other words you wish you felt, but know this, I love you.
That doesn’t have a size, that just is.
Don’t let the world define beautiful.
Just be it.
Don’t ask for permission.
Don’t seek approval.
Don’t compare yourselves.
Don’t doubt you are beautiful.
I love you.