This morning I was getting my haircut at a salon downtown, and I started looking around the room. All of the available reading material consisted of either beauty or home-cooking magazines. I was hard-pressed to find an Economist or even a Women's Adventure magazine lying around. All of the people there happened to be women, and all were with full makeup, uncomfortable shoes, and hair that looked like it required a lot of preparation. I suddenly felt a little sad. I felt like I wanted to set them "free." Like I wanted to swap out their uncomfortable high-heels with a pair of cushioned-stability running shoes and tell them to "Run free!" Literally. I wanted to somehow say that no amount of cosmetic perfection is ever going to connect one human being to another in a way that matters. (If you can come up with a cool, easy-breezy, non-offensive way of saying this out loud, let me know).
This all sounds a little over the top, I know, and it is a bit of an exaggeration. But when I think about my four year old daughter growing up in this world, and I think about her adopting values of her very own, this stuff does matter. I want nothing more than for her to share with the world the inner beauty that makes up her unique little self, and to feel free in doing just that. I know I struggle to do this myself sometimes, so in a way, being her mom may end up teaching me more than it teaches her.
What do I want for my daughter? For women everywhere?
For her to BE what truly makes her glow, to BE those quirky ideas and feelings and musings on the inside that are sometimes scary to unveil - you know, the stuff that true beauty is made of, at least in my eyes.
For her to care deeply for others, without over-concern about what others may think of her in return.
For her to learn and know resilience, to trust her inner voice, to stand her ground where she believes strongly (even if it might be a strong belief in arguing with her mom ... oi).
For her to see beauty in the natural world around us, instead of in a magazine riddled with underfed, overly made-up models.
For her to know that nature is a fantastic healer and can bring us back to our truest and best selves, and that she is part of our collective responsibility to take care of this Earth and each other.
That's what I want. That, and a good haircut.