Warning: I am on a tear so this won’t be pleasant.
Today my big girl was trying to put together a group to go to the movies. She’s not allowed to “date” but I told her that she if a group was going I would be okay with her little boy friend going. (I am NOT putting those 2 words together intentionally.) She shrugged off the idea too nonchalantly which immediately let me know something was amiss. It took some doing but I finally got it out of her.
“His mom doesn’t like me,” she admitted. I asked why-genuinely surprised. Little did I know the biggest surprise was going to be her answer. “She told him that I was inappropriately dressed at awards night and that I just dressed like someone who wanted boys to notice her.” She said looking dejected.
I sputtered. Literally. “You looked beautiful!” Then I got mad. Really mad. Irrationally pissed off.
My daughter was getting an award…not just for honor roll but for straight A honors. She won a physical fitness teachers choice award. She was being recognized for outstanding academic achievements. She was proud and nervous and wanted to dress up. I let her. For this night she wore a dress she had purchased to wear on her summer vacation. She loved that dress and felt confident in it. It was her night. I let her wear it.
This is the dress my daughter wore to her awards night. This is the dress that was so offensive to this small minded woman that she felt obligated to tell her son that my girl was only dressing to attract male attention.
How dare she.
My girl is beautiful. She’s statuesque. She doesn’t look 13-she looks older–but that’s not her fault. She’s curvy in the right places and not so curvy in others. Mother Nature has been kind to her and she’s matured into a young lady earlier then some. She takes my breath away with how incredibly pretty she is. She doesn’t believe me when I tell her this but it’s true. In fact-she doesn’t consider herself beautiful normally but that night she was proud and confident and felt smart and pretty. To know that someone took that away from her infuriates me. She admitted to me that she didn’t want to wear that dress on the cruise because she was afraid it made her look like a ‘ho. That’s was that woman’s opinion she was hearing in her head. Not the truth.
Girls have enough negative voices in their heads day in and day out. She has girls that don’t like her because of how she looks. She wasn’t invited to the “popular” party this year because a handful of girls don’t like her…I happen to believe there is a certain jealously factor involved but I could be wrong. She takes it all in stride and waves it away saying that she knows she’s “awkward” and “lame” and she is good with it.
That is normal childhood social pecking order at work. She’s got to navigate that on her own. I do my best to try and help her but I am her mom. All I can do is offer advice and a shoulder if she needs it. I try and boost her up when I can. I try and let her pick out clothes that are appropriate but also give her confidence to be who she is and who she wants to be. That’s what she needs from me.
What she doesn’t need is some uptight woman with judgemental opinions passing judgment on a girl she saw for one hour at an awards night. This grown woman made a judgment about an insecure girl trying to find her way from being a little girl to a young lady. She made a judgement without knowing who she was judging. She made a judgment and shared it with her son who shared it with my girl who has carried that judgement with her since that night.
It makes me angry. I told her so. She defended the woman until I told her to stop. I told her it made me mad and why. She is my daughter and I love her. She is my daughter and I find her beautiful. She’s my daughter and I will protect her and defend her with all that I have…even if it’s just in this forum.