Kids can be cruel.
Over the years, each one of my 3 kids have come home with hurt feelings from some sort of school yard incident. My daughter is the youngest, and I find cruel words are more prevalent among girls. I tell her it will all be OK, just continue to be who she is, and don’t worry about what others think of her. She’s perfect as is.
I realize this is easier said then done. I work from home, so it’s not very often I actually dress professionally when I’m editing photos alone in the comfort of my office (think yoga pants and baggy well-worn t-shirts I refuse to give up). Today I managed to get up early and I actually did my hair, makeup, and dressed like I was going to work where *gasp* I would see other people. Three O’Clock snuck up on me, and I quickly put on my favourite pair of brown heeled boots and ran out the door to pick up my kids from school.
You see, I love these brown boots. I feel confident when I walk in them, but since I’m usually at home I don’t wear them often.
I felt good getting ready for the day, so I suppose I did walk to school with a bit more zest in my step. As I waited at the doors of my daughter’s school for the bell to ring, I noticed two Mom’s talking quietly beside me. They looked over at me, and then continued whispering. I felt like they were talking about me, but told myself that was ridiculous, what could they possibly have to say as I was just standing there minding my business.
As they walked by me, the one Mom said to the other Mom loud enough so I could hear them “I didn’t know it was wear-your-stripper-boots-to-school day”. The other Mom looked down at my boots and giggled as they walked away.
I just stood there stunned with my mouth open, staring at my much-loved boots. “These aren’t stripper boots” I mouthed. And then I felt stupid… just. for. one. second. The anger quickly set in, and in that moment of anger I wished I had something witty to say back.
It wasn’t until I got home that the patronizing words I tell my daughter rang in my mind…”Just be yourself, don’t worry what anyone else thinks about you.” The thoughts I had a few moments before in the “school yard” also replayed in my mind and I pictured myself saying to my daughter “Be confident, but not too confident or other women will think you are stuck up. Be happy, but not too happy or other women will think you are annoying. Be kind, but not too kind or other women will question your motives. Be proud, but not too proud or other women will think you are vain. Work hard to be successful, but not too successful or other women will be threatened by you.”
To all you women out there, I learned something today and it’s also raised more questions in my mind. Perhaps you can share some of your wise insights with me. Please feel free to comment on this topic!
Why can’t women support other women? Forgive me for generalizing because this certainly isn’t the case for the women I am so thankful to have as friends. I’ve met some incredibly supportive women. I’m just questioning the times in our lives when we are cut down by other women. Those times when catty comments filled with judgments and misunderstanding are delivered when one just needs support, kindness, and understanding.
There’s many distorted messages in the media that influence women in a negative way regarding how we should look, how we should dress, what our role in society should be…and yet, rather than women supporting and uplifting other women, there are times like the one I just experienced that places us right back into the school yard full of insecurities.
So this is what I learned today:
Do not make assumptions about another person based on their outside appearance. We are all just people. All deserving of respect and kindness. If a judgment pops up in my mind about another person I’m going to take some time to evaluate WHY I feel that way…because it’s more about my own insecurities. It truly isn’t about them.
Kindness is important.
Positivity is important.
It’s OK to walk with your head held high. There was a time not so long ago when I walked with my head down. I refuse to go back there.
I will continue to support, uplift, encourage and genuinely appreciate the women I meet in life. It DOES make a difference.
Positive out, Positive in. You receive exactly what you give. I’ve never been so sure of this fact in all of my life than I am now.
I will accept and love those who I do not understand.
I will not hide my strengths because of another’s weaknesses. There is nothing wrong with loving who you are. I was trapped in self-loathing for much of my adult life. It’s not a fun place to be.
There is nothing better than watching a friend succeed. Successful, independent, confident women motivate and inspire me. Thank you to each wildly imaginative, accepting, successful, caring and kind woman whom I have had the pleasure to meet. You make me a better person.
Tomorrow I will walk with my head held high back to school, and I may even try to find higher heels to walk in. Who am I kidding, I would twist an ankle. My doctor once prescribed me high-tops for my weak ankles. Sadly, this is a true story. But a smile will still be on my face. 🙂
From my heart to yours,