Monday, September 19, 2011


The Good Girl
I am the mother of a seven-year old girl. As a typical mom, I think she is just a bundle of amazing. She's beautiful, smart, funny, imaginative, loving, sweet and playful. And what is really great, what warms my heart, is that she thinks so too. She believes it with every fiber of her being. She wakes up every morning feeling that she is just as special as I think she is. Even with her hair all out of place, missing teeth and a chocolate milk mustache, she thinks she is beautiful and the cutest thing in the whole wide world.

When she dances across the floor, she does it like a prima ballerina. When she sings, she does it with the confidence that she has a terrific voice. There is no doubt, no hesitancy on her part. She loves herself. She is strong. She is talented. She can do anything.

Unfortunately, I can't help but dread the day when she will lose some of that. Hasn't it happened to all of us at some point? Someone or something came along and started to wear away at that amazing creature we knew were. We started to doubt how amazing we were. We stopped dancing because we were unsure of what we looked like. We stopped singing because our voice isn't really that good. We stopped looking into the mirror and loving the image that reflected back to us. We started to feel not smart enough, pretty enough, not thin enough. We started to only see the flaws, where we didn't measure up to some ideal that someone else presented to us.

And why in the hell would we do that?

Why would we let ourselves lose the fact that we are amazing? Why would we let someone take that away?

I think that's what really upset me when I came across the story of two recent clothing items, produced by and for major retailers. The shirts aimed at young girls, girls of my daughters age and older, that had blatantly sexist remarks. First, JC Penny came out with a girls' shirt that said "I'm Too Pretty for Homework." It was quickly followed by another shirt with the phrase "Allergic to Algebra" from Forever 21. Are you kidding me? How does something like this even get made? Explain to me how a buyer sees this stuff and thinks, yeah, this is just so cute because, you know, girls like to be pretty and hate numbers.

Both were eventually pulled from the stores after an outcry from parents. What I find troubling is that the retailers seemed oblivious to the message they were sending with these shirts. If you're pretty enough, you don't have to work hard. Things will come easy to you based on your looks. It's beauty over brains, because that's what society views as important and a measure of your true worth. You're too pretty to put in effort. That's for ugly girls. (If you're not pretty, well then you better be smart and be prepared to work hard.) What kind of message is that for young girls? I find it disheartening and shameful.

"Allergic to Algebra" just reinforces the stereotype that girls are bad at math, even though there is nothing that supports line of thinking. Girls should never feel that boys have an inborn advantage in math and science due to the fact they are males. The message is a harmful stereotype that can be incredibly detrimental to a child’s personal achievement.

We should not let a slogan on a cheap shirt demean our daughters.

It's time that we told those people they are full of it. It's time we take back what they took from us. It's time that we make sure our daughters never lose sight of the fact that they are and always will be amazing.


  1. Maintain the memory of the original you. The original beauty. The original kindness. The original love. And the final act of healing will be to accept that you can look back at the pain and accept there is nothing wrong with the original you. And then you put the past to rest. And move on. And live!

  2. You've gotten very deep since you've been away! Welcome back to the lounge --- it's usually fun when you are around! ;)

  3. Great post, Good Girl... The fashion for the young ladies in the world so often leaves so much to be desired. Sexist remarks are as blatant an insult to young girls as are the adjectives such as "juicy" written across one's bottom. If people wouldn't buy them, they would fade away. What does it say about our society that it continues to support this type of mainstream without any consciousness to the big picture or long term effects.

  4. great post good girl~
    charlie scene welcome back
    Jillian, it is so hard with the two girls, I refuse to purchase anything like it. The girls beg...I get told how mean I am for not giving in. It's sad.

  5. Whats your number Jillian?

  6. Children will think you're mean when you say "no" to them, they will make you feel guilty, they will give you the pout. But you know what, it comes with the territory as a parent. You will make decisions that they don't like. They'll get over it. Didn't your parents say "no" to you? Are you still holding a grudge against them? Probably not. Maybe now you even understand why they said "no." You got over it, your kids will, too.

  7. Thanks Charlie. So nicely said.

    Jillian, it's nice to be back. Maybe I grew somewhat over the summer. Hope to hear more from you, too!

    Dawn, I well know being a mom you make unpopular decisions at times. Don't feel guilty. Your girls will one day appreciate those choices and maybe, dare to hope, will thank you for it.

  8. Charlie... Charlie... Charlie...
    We should at least have a virtual drink or something first! LOL. No "numbers" here in cyberspace - but I've been known to stalk the DRL page on FB occasionally...... HA!

  9. Great post, Good Girl! Welcome back after your summer hiatus --- you were missed!

    When I see the fashions for little girls - I'm thankful not to have to shop for them. The maturity of the look and the fashion is so out of sorts with the innocence of childhood that should be desired to hold onto not push out the door. Splash sexist remarks across things and market them as "cute & funny"... then there some so extreme it invites in the innuendos of the adult world. Years of marketing and design experience --- I get it sex sells... but why on earth buy it for your children. Let them BE KIDS!!!

    Bravo to you for getting our ol' pal Charlie out to play --- Nice to see you at the lounge again Mr. Scene.

  10. I've been having some similar thoughts about my son lately, how his little kid innocence seems to be slipping away.
    Last week I yelled at him for something. For the first time, that I noticed, I got the biggest "F%#k you" face from him. That's when I knew-someday he will kick my ass.
    As the father of an autistic 12 year old girl, I am happy to say she has not gotten into fashion. Sometimes I hope she never does.
    Interesting post. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Hey Charlie here's a tip for winning...!/profile.php?id=100002291616146&sk=info