Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Girls and Defiance.

Meandering through the Book of Face, I came across a lovely photoset that was featured in an article a friend had 'liked'.

Mom's powerful photos of her daughters show 'Strong is the New Pretty'

Admittedly, there's some issues with the title, because of course some people are just going to read the header and not the article and assume that the point of the article is to bash all things traditionally girly.

Well, it's not.

The woman who took the photographs, Kate T. Parker, even says so much in the article. As a mom, she wanted to show her girls that they are ALSO beautiful, even if they are not-so-much into the girly-girly.

So, let's get that debate out of the way.

Girls (and women) are not obligated to be all frou-frou 24-7. Nor are women who do find joy in getting dolled up, or knitting, or kittens, or pink ribbons and acres of tulle and make-up somehow less-than women who like to play sports, or fix cars.

Additionally, strength and femininity are not mutually exclusive.  So let's shut that shit down right now.

What caught my eye was one comment in the article, in regards to these images:
They don't look strong. They look defiant. Defiant is not attractive in a child of either gender.

I felt I needed to call bullshit.  I posted the following in response:
Defiance is not a bad trait. There is something to be said for it. Defiance is the ability to stand up for yourself, and others. Girls are too often taught to be compliant.. To bend to the will of others. To be quiet, to be ladylike, to not make waves.

Defiance can be a beautiful thing. It is strength.
Defiance brings change. It allows people to stand up and declare "This is not the way things have to be!"

Defiance means being able to state your needs and not caving to pressure.

I have girls.  I want them to be able to say no.. to lovers who move too fast, to friends who encourage bad decisions, to bosses who treat them like shit.  Hell, even to me.  I'm not a perfect parent.  Sometimes, just sometimes, I need my kids to call me out when I'm wrong.

To be defiant.

(If you're reading this, that doesn't mean you're going win every argument, and yes you still have to do the dishes.  Just sayin')

Defiance is the ability to say 'No, I won't.' 

It's the ability to say 'CAN TOO!' and 'JUST WATCH ME.'

Defiance is beautiful.

Source: Kate T. Parker Photography