“Go ahead and roll her glitter.“
Wait. What? Did I just utter those words? Why yes. Yes I did.
It happened a few weeks ago. Ella, my six-year-old, was at a birthday party at a place called, “Little Diva’s Day Spa.” I know. I know. A nightmare turned into reality. I remember anxiety setting in as I read the invitation –
Join us for little Susie’s 6th Birthday Party! Manicures! Eye make-up! A little girl’s dream!
My first thoughts were – Oh crap! Here we go. All the little girls doing “little girly” things like getting their nails painted and putting on fancy white (wedding) dresses. Getting their make-up done (UGH!) and being all diva-princessy was enough to make me gag. Twice. Okay maybe THREE times.
Blech! Are we not in the 21st century? I did not have a daughter so that I could put a tiara on her head, a tutu around her waist, and roll her in some periwinkle glitter glue. She is going to be a doctor, gosh damn it!
I remember back when I was pregnant with Ella, we had decided not to find out her gender because we –
#1. Wanted to be surprised the day of her birth and…
#2. We did not want to be bombarded with a bunch of pink, “girly” things.
Fast forward six years and here I am standing proudly alongside my glitterfied Ella in the middle of a beauty salon! What the hell happened?
Well, life happened. Ella has grown into the most creative and beautiful little girl. She loves soccer and gymnastics. She loves painting, coloring, and building trains with her brother. She enjoys going on hikes and nature hunts. She makes mud pies and swims. She wears blue and green and orange and pink. Polka dots, stripes, and ribbons. She dons baseball caps and plays football with her friends. She likes her riding boots, roller skates, and jumping in rain puddles. Dolls, trucks, airplanes, and Legos. Helping in the garden. Picking herbs, picking weeds, and planting veggies. Climbing trees and doing somersaults with her best friends. Playing computer games and writing stories. And…
She LOVES glitter. She loved having her nails painted. (They were painted cute little peek-a-boo penguins by the way!) She loved playing dress-up and had a great time at her friend’s birthday party at yep you guessed it, “Little Diva’s Day Spa.” She twirled and played together beautifully with her friends. She giggled and sang and enjoyed every second.
What defines her is not one GLITTERFIED (I like that word) moment at a salon or a pink stroller or a pink hat, but the whole kit-n-caboodle. The whole lot of choices that we make for ourselves and our kids. The guidance we show our children and the balance we instill along the way.
If I hope to teach my daughter one thing about being a woman it would be:
Feminism to me means having a choice. Not only the freedom to like what I want and to be what I want BUT more importantly to understand how my choices collectively impact others. To choose positive empowerment. To work hard and respect others and the decisions they’ve made in their own lives. To be treated fairly and equally and to reciprocate those ideas. To live in a society where no one is pressured to be like anyone else. And to be okay with it all.
Except when it comes to glitter.
We can all use a little glitter.
Wonderful post!! I have two daughters and I find myself wanting them to be tomboys one minute and girly girls the next! But I agree, it’s about balance. And I love your vision of feminism!!! Everytime I pass by the art print I got from you a while back, I smile…because it’s all part of the things I wish for my girls!!!!
Rani! Thank you! I feel torn as well. I always try to create a balance of a variety of things to interest both my children.
I am humbled that you are inspired by the print! Much love to you!
At 21 months my little girl is already a mud pie chef in a tutu ! Yesterday she went on a playdate with one pink shoe and one red shoe. I let her. She loved it. Great post – thanks for writing it !
Yes we ALL can use a bit more glitter in our lives. Love this post. 🙂 My daughter is so into the girly girl and pink sparkly stuff. Yet she also loves dinosaurs and racecars and getting dirty in the mud. I hope to raise a well rounded child who appreciates it all, girly or not.
I loved this post. I get so tired of all the girly girl assumptions – that just because she’s a girl she should have everything pink and cute or, even worse, sexy, and that it’s okay to be spoiled, and that they all want to be princesses, blah blah blah. I walked this tightrope with my daughter and she also wound up, somehow despite me, in that state of grace which can appreciate getting glitterfied and then jumping on a quad and heading up a mountain, or deep sea diving, or throwing herself out of an airplane (yes, she’s done all of those things!)
So thank you for a ray of sanity in a radiation pink world. I totally agree that feminism means choice, which also means letting her choose among all the delights life has to offer.
HAHA! I loved this because it made me laugh. There’s a country song… Ladies Love Country Boys, that expresses the same sentiment in a totally other mindset… Kids have a way of growing up beyond our expectations, completely ignoring what we think they should be/want/like and becoming their own little people.
IMHO, feminism has always been about the right for a woman to choose her own path, whether that means being a SAHM, crunchy or soft, left or right or ambling along somewhere in the center. I’ve been a SAHM and a working mom. I’ve done the health kick and relaxed a bit. I’ve held the dream in my hands… and had it crack apart… And always I’ve had a choice. We owe a lot to our grandmothers, greatgrandmothers, and even our moms. It’s good to remember. And it’s good to let our girls get glittery now and then if that’s what they want. Because we can.
You hit the nail on the head! As always!