September 10, 2019-
Mom turned ninety-one, and doesn’t care who knows it. She’s earned the right to think, do and eat whatever she wants. That’s my opinion, anyway. In our conversation, this morning, she gave me two thumbs up, for taking the joyful, positive view of life, which is mine, most of the time. She expects me to keep on caring for myself, not depending on anyone else-for which I’m grateful. My mother has lost none of her fire and spunk.
I woke this morning, to a report that a 13-year-old girl was sent home for wearing one comfortable outfit that was deemed “distracting for boys” ( I saw the outfit, and as a former school administrator, who held the line against bare midriffs and mid-thigh shorts, I think it was overkill, on the part of the school). Her father brought a second outfit, which the Principal also found objectionable. He took his daughter home, then launched a campaign to revisit the dress code. Good for him; there are many men who still don’t take enough interest in the healthy self-concept of their children, especially of their daughters.
Body shaming has been with us for a long time-both against people of size and of slenderness. Children are also sexualized, far too soon and far too often. The father, in this case, pointed out that his child doesn’t flirt with her male classmates; she just wants to be a kid, and be comfortable, in 90-degree heat. I heartily agree, as does my mother, who raised us boys to not dwell on a girl’s, or woman’s, physical attributes-one way or another. My sister was always held in high regard, and was taught to think well of herself. She has passed that on to her own daughters, and granddaughters.
I took a healthy lunch, this noon, at a local cafe (Ms. Natural’s) that thrives on its salubrious menu. I was one of two men in the place, which was packed with mostly young women, all of whom take care of themselves and carry themselves with dignity and grace. This is what I wish, for everyone, especially for those who have been kept in a dark emotional space, for far too long.
Mom wants that, also. I hope she’s around, to reiterate the point, for several years to come.