Girls, from the moment they are young, are taught to be pretty. They’re given frilly dresses to twirl in, beautiful shoes to walk in, and shiny glitters to put on their hair. Princesses only get their happy endings once they transition from ordinary to stunning. Fairytales are cute and entertaining, this is the reason why they’re never questioned. Parents often just need a way for kids to entertain themselves and there’s nothing wrong with a little amusement but what are the underlying messages in it?
Unconsciously, little girls grow to believe this—that they are only worthy when they are beautiful. So they spend hours primping, going to the gym, battling between not eating and eating, angling in front of their camera phones and choosing the perfect filter. Don’t get me wrong, there are strong women who do it for themselves, but at one point or another, we have become that woman. We have longed to become so beautiful so we get to be chosen. We hope against hope that we are the fair maiden that gets saved (with J.Cole screaming “don’t save her, she don’t want to be saved) at the end of the story.”
Women are raised to be ornaments. If you are beautiful enough, you get to be the trophy wife. You get to be the prize the handsome knight wins at the end of the day. Nobody ever talks about the man being worthy enough for the maiden, by being male, he is already worthy.
As a child, my father taught me to become a thoroughbred. Looks were not a major factor in our home, or maybe, I was the daughter who was taught not to rely on it. I was taught to focus on school, on being my own person, and growing into my own woman. This made me focus on school, priding on grades instead of dates but at the end of the day, any dorky girl wishes for one thing: to be noticed for herlooks and not just her ability to crack a sarcastic joke or know the statistics of a basketball game. It’s true when they say that we often crave for the things we don’t have. But what happens when you finally get it?
Let me tell you one thing: nothing. Nothing changes. There is no magic, there is no pill, unlike the fairytales we love so much getting what we want doesn’t change much if our inner self isn’t right to begin with. We can get all the glitters in the world but at the end of the day, it doesn’t mean anything. For what is it to gain the world but lose our soul?
Happiness cannot be found in external sources. We can get all the praises in the world but once the excitement fades away, we’re left with ourselves, do we like who we are? Also, must we constantly find our worth in what the opposite sex says about us?
A recent viral post by a Georgian mom, Jessica Kirkland, over the Duggar scandal puts things in perspective:
“As a mother of daughters, this makes me ill. Parents, WE MUST DO BETTER BY OUR DAUGHTERS. Boys, men, are born with power. Girls have to command it for themselves.
They aren’t given it. They assume it and take it. But you have to teach them to do it, that they can do it. We HAVE to teach our daughters that they are not beholden to men like this. That they don’t have to marry a man their father deems ‘acceptable’ and then stay married to that man long, long after he proved himself UNACCEPTABLE. Educate them.
Empower them. Give them the tools they need to survive, on their own if they must. Josh Duggar should be cowering in fear of Anna Duggar right now. Cowering. He isn’t, but he should be. He should be quaking in fear that the house might fall down around them if he’s in the same room as she. Please, instill your daughters with the resolve to make a man cower if he must. To say ‘I don’t deserve this, and my children don’t deserve this.’ I wish someone had ever, just once, told Anna she was capable of this. That she knew she is. As for my girls, I’ll raise them to think they breathe fire.”