I dread the day when this sweet little girl looks in the mirror and sees anything but a gorgeous miracle.
There comes a day in every girl’s life when she realizes that she is not the prettiest princess in the room. I’m not sure exactly when that day was for me but I know I was very young. Having a daughter myself, I can tell you that every girl is born into this world knowing she is the most gorgeous, amazing creature ever. Every body part, including her tummy, is just a body part and something to be examined (and possibly colored on) with delight. Jelly Bean is 4 years old and watching her frolic after bath time tonight assures me that she has not yet lost that fairy magic. But while some of us keep that wonder a bit longer than others – I think having parents who adore every inch of you helps – somewhere between babyhood and girlhood, it’s gone. Extinguished like a candle under a cup. The candle is still there of course but it no longer lights our way.
People find inspiration in the darndest places. Like these ads to inspire more women to breastfeed… by showing men doing it. Now, I’m not knocking these brave dudes but I’m just saying that as a lady with mammaries all these ads make think are “Yeah but you can’t… so why are you confusing that baby with a hairy nipple?”
We’ve all done it. Whether it’s sneaking a peek at the treadmill readout from the person next to us and upping our speed a bit to match theirs or seeing someone deadlift three times their body weight and deciding to give the DL another try or even seeing someone proudly wearing a bright, weird outfit and using that to craft our own bright, weird outfit, taking inspiration from what other people say and do is as normal as looking in the bowl after you go to the bathroom. Sometimes we don’t want to admit we do it but nevertheless we all do.
And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking inspiration from what’s around us. But the advent of social media has changed the rules a bit – upped the stakes – when it comes to talking about what inspires us. Three recent examples have really shown how publicly thanking people for being inspiring can go horribly awry.
This is a gift that is ALWAYS appropriate to give…
Because skunk butthole.
Help! Someone call 911!! When you hear this on TV, people immediately come running to the rescue. In real life, as I learned on the 4th of July, sometimes it takes a minute to sink in. One minute we were happily taking an (inspired*) pre-fireworks walk with my friend J and her family and the next we were all staring dumbly at a man on the ground surrounded by his wife, young children, oh, and a rapidly spreading pool of blood. That was coming from his head. Specifically his ear. But not like a scrape on his ear. Like from in his ear. Did I mention there was blood everywhere?
That’s not good, I remember thinking. I’m no doctor but I’ve watched enough people fall off buildings on TV to know that blood gushing out of your nose and ears means massive internal bleeding. You know, the kind that means your character will definitely not be coming back next season. (Unless you’re on Pretty Little Liars. Nobody ever stays dead on that show. Not even the central character who is, by her very definition, a dead girl. I still watch. Feel free to commence judgement.) And like a TV show, it didn’t quite feel real.
All the cars parked up on snowbanks should have been my first clue that something was amiss at the gym this morning. But I was fortunate to have a parking spot open up right in front of me and so I paid no attention to the fact that my spot was the only open one in the entire, gigantic parking lot. As I raced inside with Jelly Bean tucked like a missile under one arm (as we’re basically always late she’s gotten very good at making herself aerodynamic, a skill she can thank me for later if she she ever decides to become a luge runner or human cannonball), I was irritated to discover a long line at the check-in desk. I tried not to show my irritation at the number of people stymied by a simple card swipe by smiling brightly and not thinking about my yoga class that was starting in 5 minutes – although in retrospect all the teeth I was showing probably said more “cannibal” than “calm.”