This was a very special one.
Starting off with the Sia Written, Beyoncé performed hit song, ‘Pretty Hurts‘:
“Mama said, you’re a pretty girl
What’s in your head it doesn’t matter
Brush your hair, fix your teeth
What you wear is all that matters…”
You might think “My mom never said that. She wanted me to study, be a good girl…” Of course she didn’t. Not in so many words anyway. She probably only said, “Who would want to marry a girl who looks/dresses like this?” or “Why don’t you wear earrings?” or “Why do you shave your hair? You look like a boy” or “We need to ‘brighten‘ your skin tone” or “Your hair is too kinky. You should go and relax it.” Or in other words, “Why can’t you follow all the stereotypes and ‘rules’ that society has fixed so you can be a real woman??”
Now here’s the thing. I’m not mad at the moms or aunties who said these things. They only meant well, but for who exactly?
We were raised especially as women with a ‘follow, follow‘ mentality, but who makes the rules??
Why should a girl have to explain why she doesn’t gloss her nails or use hair extensions or like to wear heels. That she prefers low hair or nappy hair or whatever. Why does she have to defend a choice that should be personal?
Suddenly ‘nappy’ is the new cool. Good for us. But women still feel self-conscious about going to the work or important functions with their natural look. Who decided a wig was better than your own hair? Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind wigs or any other female trappings. But who says it’s a must?
We women are our own problem. We have helped to propagate all the stereotypes about us. The song continues:
Shine the light on whatever’s worse
Perfection is the disease of a nation
tryna fix something
but you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs the surgery
I never loved how I looked or admired anything about myself while I was growing up. Too chubby, too dark, too awkward… and my mom never helped me feel otherwise. May be she didn’t know how. I know she loved me and that’s enough.
It’s time to change things though. What will you tell your daughter? To be her own person, to feel proud as a woman and comfortable in her skin? Will you help her find confidence and her own definition of beauty or will you just show her how to ‘follow, follow’?
BTW I wish someone had told me (not necessarily my mom lol) this line from ‘All About that Bass‘ by Meghan Trainor:
Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, boys they like a little more booty to hold at night
(Its true. So don’t argue with me :-; )
The Bye-bye: I learnt the hard way. And the moment was like an epiphany for me. I wish I had been sure of all these years ago. So God help me, I’m going to be a ‘mom’ to every girl and woman I meet. And as a new ‘mom’, I leave you with J cole’s ‘Crooked Smile‘:
Love yourself, girl, or nobody will
Though you’re a woman, I don’t know how you deal
With all the pressure to look impressive and go out in heels; I feel for you
killing yourself to find a man that’ll kill for you
You wake up, put makeup on, stare in the mirror
but it’s clear that you can’t face what’s wrong; no need to fix
what God already put his paint brush on…
Got that? So Will you be a ‘mom’ to me??
What the Girls’ Thought
- On building confidence from the roots:
Self-confidence is built from a young age, and I think ‘mom’ in this issue is not just a mother but every elderly woman we looked up to who could have said something nice. That’s why I love the idea of being someone’s mother today. It’s every woman’s role. We should build our girls’ confidence so people talking crazy will be like nothing.
- On the importance of a kind word:
Sometimes we can’t put all this expectations on our moms. They are women too and their times did not experience what we experiencing today.
Spoken words of kindness will always beat social media standards which is something most people don’t know. Everyone is scrolling through timelines and wishing they could be like the girls they see in the pages. But if someone just told them, “Hunie u look so beautiful today” their mindsets will change.
- On the crazy standards of Society:
Society tends to make us feel as if there is a particular standard for beauty! No, there isn’t! Our mothers should have told us “You are beautiful just just the way you are” instead of saying “You are too skinny, you should eat more often” or “You are too fat, you eat too much” Eating healthy should be a lifestyle for all, but some pple are just the way they are, not even a diet can’t change that. So love yourself, and each other just the way you all are!
The #BeaMom Challenge
I’m revamping here the challenge we had on the page. It was so much fun and I will be sharing my favorite. Wonna play?
Step1. Complete the statement: “I wish my mom had told me…” in the comments section of this post.
Step2: Be a mom! share this post using any of the social media links below.
Step3: What will you tell your daughter?
And…the winner gets a personal poster (yey!) with your quotes. How cool is that???
Missed the Beginning? Don’t you worry. Start Revisiting #10DaysofBodyTalk.
Credit goes to artists/songwriters for all the Lyrics.