My daughter likes pink. She also likes doing her hair, her nails, new clothes, rearranging her room, and accessorising. Her delight in a new shade of nail varnish bemuses me. She can wear three outfits in a day, easily. As a little girl she played with dolls and soft toys and she has a deep fondness for any animal with fur.
This was not the kind of little girl I ever was. Where does all this love of primping and nurturing come from? How much is innately her and how much is what she thinks is required of her?
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I want her to find herself. Her true self.
If pink is a colour she genuinely adores, then let her life be pink. If taking care of bunnies gives her real pleasure, then fill the hutch. But in a world that dictates to little girls that pink is best, and to be nice and caring and pretty and thin is right, then how do our girls work out what kind of woman they really wish to become?
I want to protect her from all those influences that have tugged me off course. I want her to feel good about herself, exactly as she is. No need to be nicer, or more out-going, or more considerate, or less outspoken, or a better cook. I want her to love her body just as it is. No need to diet, or make herself over.
And on top of all the messages coming from the screen and the high street, she must also feel an unspoken pressure to be like me.
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I cannot vanish the media, or diminish her grandmother’s desire for great-grandchildren. I cannot stop myself from frowning when she says something ditsy, or embrace her wish for yet another cuddly pet, or diminish her father’s pleasure when she twirls into the room all prettied up. I cannot stop her friends from passing judgement on whether her clothes match their current fashion, or change the boys reactions to her when she looks a certain way.
Her protection will have to come from inside her. She will need the strength to make her own choices, whilst surrounded by all that tugs and sways her.
And I am going to take her out for a hot chocolate once a week!
Click here to see why…