I have four sons, but no daughters, so you might be wondering why I've been reading this book. I bought it first to help myself. I suffer from this curse. The author describes how many girls are taught that they need to "be nice." They're made to feel like they must be happy, kind, shy, nurturing, and not too smart. They list "bad girls" as the ones who stand out, wear flashy clothes, are creative, speak their minds. Girls start to believe that they're only allowed to have "good" emotions, be happy, smile, be self-sacrificing, and in doing so, they lose themselves and become ashamed of having fears, anger, needs, and original thoughts.
I also read this book because every week creative, intelligent girls come to my door and sit on my piano bench. I want to help them become authentic women who aren't afraid of hitting a wrong note, making a mistake, having a bad day, or shedding a few tears of frustration, because that's what it means to be real. I want them to know that making mistakes is part of learning, and that you can't be perfect all the time, if ever. Perfect, to me, is a dirty word. I'm trying to eliminate it from my vocabulary.
I want to nurture their creative spirits and show them how to encourage one another and build each other up.
As a woman who teaches, nurtures, and counsels girls, I need to show them that I am a human being with a full range of emotions. I make mistakes. I have conflicts in relationships, and I embrace who I am, imperfections and all. As a mother of four sons, I need to show them that women are not happy, smiling Barbie dolls whose needs are less important than theirs. We all have needs. We all have good days and bad days. Sometimes we're able to care for others, and other times we need their care. That's what it means to be in a relationship with someone and to live an authentic life.
Journaling Prompt: Describe a strong, authentic woman in your life.