Three Things The World Keeps Telling Her (and What You Can Do About It)
Apr 8, 2019 | By: Jennifer Lebo
Truly, our daughters are growing up in a world completely different from the one in which we did.
On the one hand, they have opportunities that we never had, and certainly ones our mothers never had. They can literally become anything- from an astronaut, to an engineer, to a professional athlete, to a coach in the NFL. The sky’s the limit!
On the other hand, they are growing up with smartphones and social media, and basically nowhere to escape the world’s messages, which can be harsh, unforgiving, and hateful.
We can help our daughters, but to do so, we must recognize the messages that are bombarding her. We must know what messages the world is throwing at her.
THREE MESSAGES THE WORLD IS TELLING OUR DAUGHTERS
1. YOU CAN BE ANYTHING YOU WANT- TRANSLATION: YOU MUST BE ALL THINGS
As the world opens up for our daughters, rather than replace one opportunity for another, the world just dumps more on them. You can read more about this phenomenon in my last blog post HERE.
So what can we moms do about this? We can expose the truth of this lie, and call BS on the fallacy that our daughters can and should be all things in all ways. No woman should be expected to run the world while being runway worthy, and being soccer mom and Suzy Homemaker on the side.
We can encourage our daughters to choose their path, and then own it. We must remind them and remind them again that they are enough in whatever they choose to be, and that they are enough today.
2. YOUR BEAUTY DEFINES YOU- YOU ARE ONLY AS WORTHY AS THE SIZE OF YOUR JEANS
Despite all the new trails that women are blazing, they are being told to do so in their skinny jeans. Our girls are being fat shamed in school, on social media, and with every ad on TV. It’s still happening. Only now it’s happening in her bedroom too, which is supposed to be her safe space. Fat shaming shows up on her Instagram feed, through anonymous social networks, and through cyber bullying. It’s not just on TV or in magazines. It’s in her hand now- 24/7.
Again, we can do something about this by calling out the lies. This is an uphill battle for sure, but we MUST daily remind our girls that they are more than the size of their jeans, even when they roll their eyes at it. We must call out the fat shaming in the moment. We must keep an eye on that Instagram feed, and we must call out the photoshopped, filtered, liquified lies there, too.
Even more so, we must model this for our daughters. That means no more self loathing, no more fat shaming ourselves! Accept compliments from others, even if it’s hard. Remember that she’s watching you. So learn to look in the mirror and smile at the exceptional woman looking back.
3. WOMEN ARE BITCHES- THEY CAN’T BE TRUSTED
Look around you. Who doesn’t love the old “cat fight”?
Whether it’s two scantily clad women rolling around in a beer commercial, or it’s two anchorwomen “heatedly debating” on a news channel, the world loves to pit women against each other.
The message we receive through this? Don’t trust other women. This leads to women competing with other women rather than empowering other women.
And it’s total BS.
So what can we do about it? We can break the cycle ourselves. We can stop seeing the women around us as competition, and start seeing them as allies. We can stop putting other women down to lift ourselves up, and start building up the women in our lives, so that we might all be empowered together. We can stop judging women by the way they look, or talk, or walk, or live. In fact, we can stop judging women PERIOD.
Find ways to empower other women in front of your daughter. Point out the strong women you see on TV or in social media. Point out examples of women building other women up. Expose the comical nature of the catfight, and call it out for the garbage it is. Be a friend to other women, empower other women. In doing so you will build up and empower your own daughter.
We might not be able to stop these worldly messages from infiltrating our daughters’ phones and lives, but we sure can call them out for the lies they are. And we can teach them our own messages- ones of worth, character, real beauty, self love, and empowerment.
We can make our daughters the generation who hears it differently.