November 4, 2015 Comments Off on Skin
Last Friday after work I was too tired to even think about making dinner, so I loaded my girls into to the car, and we headed for our local Nandos.
It was a very warm evening after a blisteringly hot day, and as we sat at our sidewalk table, chatting and people-watching, I noticed that everywhere I looked, bare skin was the order of the day.
As we got into the car again to head home, I said in my most supercilious tone – the one I reserve for mocking beauty pageants – that I’d seen a lot of woman in short dresses who really shouldn’t be wearing short dresses, especially not at their age…
Without missing a beat, my older daughter asked: “Who are you to decide what they should or shouldn’t be wearing? They should be allowed to wear anything they want to wear; anything that makes them happy.”
The younger one chimed in: “How can you body shame them like that? You’re always telling us it’s not okay to do that.”
And in that moment I was both terribly ashamed of my own hypocrisy, and ineffably proud of the young women I’m raising – both for their certainty that I was behaving badly, and their courage to call me on it.
It was one of those parenting moments where I felt that in this respect, at least, I’d got something right.