This probably goes without saying but here it is anyway: I am super girly. Pink, flowers, jewelry, clothes, and did I mention pink? These are a few of my favorite things. And luckily for me, they’re Ella’s favorite things too. She is sugar and spice and everything nice and it makes me so, so happy. I often think that God knew exactly what he was doing when he sent me that little girl. We clash a lot but can always find common ground on dresses and bows and videos of Kate Middleton’s wedding (seriously, Ella requests them). Once upon a time, I didn’t embrace this part of who I am. I thought it made me seem immature and weak and a stereotype. After all, how hard have women worked to be seen as more than ornamental possessions? How long have women had to push against the narrative that all we care about is clothes and shoes and purses? How can I be a strong woman when I’m all the things that are attributed to girls?
The answer, I’ve discovered, is pretty simple. All the talk that “women can be anything” includes all the things that I mentioned above. I don’t have to reject these “girly” things in order to be accepted as strong and fierce and tough and, yes, smart. Women can be anything; we can also be more than one thing. Ella is girly but she’s also imaginative and she loves to sing and dance and tell stories. I am girly but also fiercely protective and loyal and I love puns and period dramas and professional sports. We are more than one thing.
We all should hold on to the things that bring us true joy. Not pleasure or satisfaction, but joy. Beauty speaks to my spirit; what’s so embarrassing about that? I would ask you, what are the things that you truly love that you don’t allow yourself to fully embrace? Are there parts of yourself that you keep secret out of fear or shame?
Stop. I give you permission.
We shouldn’t deprive ourselves of harmless joy when the world is so full of harm as it is. So today, I wore three necklaces and painted my nails gold. I put Ella’s hair in pigtails and a bow and by the end of church, she was begging to switch dresses with me. And I loved it. I’m proud to be a girly girl and I’m proud to be raising one.
Happy Sunday, everybody.
p.s. she really did beg me to switch dresses (not pictured: my wedding shoes)