“Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever…” Judge Judy Sheindlin

YOU know when you see something and link it to something else and then to something else and then to something else and then you feel like you‘ve had a revelation?

Happened to me last week….

At my youngest son’s school they were asked to write a message to their mum for Mother’s Day and were photographed holding it. And then the mum’s were kindly allowed to buy them at the Mother’s Day breakfast (yes – I got there!). There were many many classics amongst the group. This is the one my son wrote:

That’s right: “Thanks mum for being the smartest in the house.”

I’ll so take that from my quirky little fella! Although a broader reach would have been good too (!!). But - I then I discussed it with a couple of the other mums - for 2 hours out the front of the school after we were removed from the playground so school could start. Both very bright, highly educated ladies and both mums of boys.

One of the many (clearly!) life-changing things we talked about how we wanted our boys to see women for brains first and beauty second, to respect intelligence and encourage the women and girls in their lives to be smart, act smart and reach their potential. A huge topic, especially for the school gate!

So how does this work for parents of teenagers?

Well my two cents worth is this:

“I hate how girls are taught constantly that their worth is in terms of their beauty and their body shape and (I wish I had some stats here!) the way they see themselves reflects this. If I see one more trout-pout, tits out selfie I will just start to cry. I want to see more of young girls in science, leading thought, building the zeitgeist, creating things get the publicity. I know they are there – just not as well publicised”.

Even more than that:

“I hate how parents contribute to this!!!!! I am sick of parents putting up pics of their girls on Facebook saying how beautiful they are and everyone comments “gorgeous”, “lovely outfit” or “what’s she doing with her hair now?” A little bit of me dies every time. Wouldn’t it be lovely to know what books they have read, how they are enjoying their sport or any other achievements. Actual achievements.”

Apologies for the broad brushstrokes – not every parent is like this, of course. Just needed to get on the generalisation high-horse for a sec.

PS: You can bet your life my husband was shown my photo ASAP. And I may have mentioned it since….

Love, Kate

Posted: 16/05/2017 12:15:00 PM by Kate Walker
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