Momma’s about to preach.
I was walking out of my gym the other night, and I happened to catch a glimpse of the events table. Something struck me, and to be 100% honest with you, I’m not exactly sure what upset me so much about it, so I’m going to start writing and see if I can figure out why it bothered me in the process.
If you know anything about me, you know that I have a little girl, but you may or may not know that I was (and still am) absolutely terrified to be a girl mom. When the doctor told me she was a girl, I cried tears of fear, not tears of joy like a normal person. No, I immediately conjured up images in my head of middle school cheerleading, mean girl cliques, and a bedroom covered in pink butterflies. I had always seen myself as a boy mom, and yet there she was…100% baby girl. Lord, have mercy.
SO, what bothered me so much the other day was what you see below. As I was walking out the gym, a bright pink flyer caught my eye advertising “I’m Awesome! Empowerment Workshops for Girls.”
Besides the obviously moronic title, I still haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly what bothered me so much about this. Being a girl mom has made me much more sensitive to the types of things targeted to young girls, and I just kept coming back to the horrific title. (Seriously…how uncreative is this person?) I think I’ll start there. Putting aside the incredible corniness of the title, I think part of my beef with this is the fact that this seminar is encouraging girls to focus on THEMSELVES. Can I just say, nothing, NOTHING good comes from putting all of your energy and focus on YOURSELF! When we continue to look inward at ourselves, we begin to put our focus and priorities on OUR wants, OUR desires, and OUR skewed perceptions.
And, here’s the thing…it’s not about US.
And secondly, I kept coming back to the fact that this was ONLY a workshop for girls. (Out of curiosity, I looked at what camps/workshops were offered for boys at this particular location, and, to name a few, they offered a Chess Academy, Lego-building classes, and Young Entrepreneurs seminars…hmmmm.) Why is it implied that only girls need this? Why is it implied in this flyer that girls don’t feel good about themselves? Do we just automatically assume that because someone is a young girl that they need some idiot in an “I’m Awesome!” workshop validating their worth?
Where did we go so wrong??!!
If we really want young girls to see their value and worth, we need to be shifting their eyes AWAY from themselves, and UP to Jesus Christ. We need to be moving their focus away from their own little world, their own little bubble, and getting them out into the real world. If we want them to see their worth, we need to take them to serve others. Show them just how “awesome” they are by taking them to feed the homeless. Let them feel empowered by donating their old clothes and toys to a women’s shelter. Help young girls (and boys!) cultivate love and empathy and kindness by sending them on a mission trip. Where I believe we are going so wrong is in seminars like this. As well-intentioned as we are, we are going astray by teaching kids to be self-centered when we need to be teaching kids to find their “awesome” by looking OUTSIDE of themselves.
All right. I’m out of breath. I’ll step off my soapbox now.
What are your thoughts on this? Would love to hear!