Happy {Music} Friday.....Nope. Not Today.

I figured that with yesterday's Shake It Off Battle, you've been "music'd out." I'll resume the whole regularly scheduled program thing next week. Maybe. If I feel like it.

Today, I wanted to talk about Kim Kardashian and her naked body being emblazoned across millions of copies of Paper magazine. If you haven't already seen this - count yourself lucky - I'm sure that you have at least caught wind of it being "a thing." 

Just a few thoughts.

I know a lot of women, friends, men, people in general have read some of my posts about princesses and how as women and very young girls, we are being fed a lie constantly. I've had serious strains in relationships over my views and I've had to defend myself on several occasions. And I am unapologetic 


Kim Kardashian catapulting to fame via sex video, broken relationships, lots of nude-ish photos, and the basic selling of her body non-stop is just a result of so many of us believing this lie - that our bodies (AKA Beauty) are the only thing we (women) have to offer the world. Everyone wants their shot of fame and how better to do that than (in true Kardashian fashion) get a reality show and sell every little bit of your life. Give it up, ladies.

Women aren't the only ones buying this lie. Obviously, guys are falling for it too. Even when asked why he married Kim, her husband didn't list off anything having to do with her character or her spirit or her mind. I think he basically just said "She was hot." Wow. Kim and Kanye, you deserve each other. Poor North. 

I'll be fair and admit that we can't see everything in their lives - both these folks are selling an image - it's just sad that this is generally to "go to" image that is being sold. Full frontal. No boundaries. No self-respect. 

So, let's take a moment and celebrate some true female greatness. 

Amelia Earhart. 
Mother Teresa
Marie Curie
Charlotte Bronte
You and Me?

There are more awesome women out there (but I'm sipping coffee as fast as I can and trying to get to the gym before 8am - not gonna happen). All of the women pictured above did THEIR thing. They didn't or don't seem to let cultural morays and taboos stand in their way.They don't care what MEN think of them and they certainly don't seem to listen to the critics. 

Kim Kardashian is actually doing all of the above as well....except my examples of feminine greatness don't appear to be selling their bodies. They pursued science, flight, literature, social justice, and motherhood. All really great and honorable things. They all did it with their clothes on (to my understanding) and they all held true to their beliefs and were unyielding (maybe Kim just believes in something much more superficial). 

These are a few of the women we should hold up to our young girls and boys as great examples. But they are not the ONLY great women. These females greats should be peppered in among the mass of strong, REAL women (friends and relatives) that our kids live life with daily. Like Ms. Britt who packs food bags and mentors young mothers still in high school. or Ms. Jessica and Ms. Melissa who are ministering to the people of the Czech Republic. or Ms. Radha who is partnering to revitalize a dying church. or Aunt Beth who stepped away from a career in writing and now home schools and raises her eight children. or Nana who feels like God has her in the classroom to serve kids of active duty servicemen and women. Or Ms. Heather who makes movies. Or Ms. Lyndie who basically sails the money ship of a cancer center. That's a lot of great women...and those are just off the top of my head.  

Our kids need to now what REAL WOMANHOOD looks like. Otherwise we will have girls who view themselves as a commodity and boys who do the same. 

And that is not acceptable.


The "Shake It Off" Battle

I mean, I wish this were a much more interesting battle. Like the Hiphopopotamus vs. the Rhymenoceros.

It's really just more of thought that came through my mind while driving and "Shake it Off" by Taylor Swift cam on the radio. My youngest loves it. Which is somewhat depressing.

Despite the really wacky video...it's a bit vacant. Ms. Swift talks about haters and players and fakers. She hints at her dating life (of course she does). She goes on to kind of tongue in check talk herself up. It's all very "girl power" - if indeed the entirety of a girl's power s seated in her ability to date a lot of guys, be successful, and shake it off  into the arms of a new flavor of the month when she sees her ex with someone new. Very empowering. She also says the  whole OMG thing- which I'm not a fan of. I think it shows a lack of breeding and vocabulary.

Aside: Ms. Swift, you've made millions off a writing songs, but your last two releases have used OMG as a complete "filler." Not cool. Say something meaningful.

It's {the song} is not so much something I want my youngest kiddo singing. However, it's catchy. Darn catchy.

When my oldest was this age, I was jamming to another "Shake it Off" - this one by Florence + The Machine. I remember her asking for it relentlessly. And I gave in without hesitation.

At the time, I thought the lyrics were maybe just a little too heavy for my then two-year-old. The song is about inner demons and having to wrestle with those things in our life that bring us down - whether is were an addiction or self doubt or {fill in the blank}.  While dance-able and catchy it kind of delves into some darker things.

Good 'ol Florence might not have dropped my Lord and Savior's name in vain, but she did say "H-E-L-L" at least once during the song. Still. Darn catchy.

Comparing the two, I think I'd still let my kiddo listen to Florence. I find her honest struggle with the dark times in life much more empowering and realistic and healthy than Ms. Swift's version of shake-it-off-able events.

But - without further ado - for your consideration....

Taylor Swift 

Florence + The Machine

What do you guys think? 

{Dislaimer: Florence + the Machine video DEFINITELY not winning in the child-friendly-video category.....T.Swift wins that one...well, except for the shaking bottoms}


Ma' Girls

I have two girls. Two really great and beautiful girls who enjoy a lot of different things. Building, play fighting, robots, princesses, drawing, painting, and dolls. They like a plethora of stuff and I like it that way.

As a girl who grew up feeling very conscious of her flaws and her "not girly-enoughness" I have had to fight myself at every turn to let my girls be who they are. I resist forcing a bow into their hair. I resist picking out every single outfit. I even resist holding them down while I attempt a ponytail.  I let them be who they are and explore who THEY are. In all their nappy-haired, mismatched glory.

I often lovingly {and jokingly} refer to them as looking "homeless." Please, understand, they look ANYTHING but homeless. They just aren't coiffed and polished. They are more muddy/torn knees and tangled hair in the eyes. It's definitely more Kirk Cobain in style and less Hello Kitty.

So, what am I even writing about?

If you've read my blog, you know that I have kind of a tense relationship with princesses. But please let me clarify that my problem is not with the idea of princesses. They are fairly innocuous, most girls pretend to be princesses, and I consider them just another role from the motley crew of characters that children choose to play act. My issue has mainly to do with the marketing of princesses. The MARKETING of princesses is not innocuous or innocent. It is very much targeted to make your kiddo believe certain "lies" hook, line, and sinker. Well, at least in my opinion.

One of the main lies that all kids are really being fed is what is "girly" and what is "boyish"? And believing this lie (or parents just going along with the marketing teams that are paid millions to keep your kids coming back for more) leads to our kids being pigeon-holed into a consumer identity at a pretty young age.

Now, do I think that boys and girls are categorically different? Yes.

But do I think that the only color options available to girls should be pinks and purples? No.

Do I think that my nephews should be able to play with kitchen toys and not be seen as "girly"? Yes.

Not only are my girls limited in the color palete of ANYTHING that they may want to purchase, they are also slowly being made into little billboards. We went shopping for shoes today and our options were bedazzled, pink, purple, glittered trash shoes. How are girls expected to PLAY in those? Not to mention that almost every shoe option sported some character's face.

I looked over at the boys' selection and what do you think I found? Functional shoes. Way less characters. It's almost like boys should have functional feet & bodies while girls' bodies and feet are more about how we adorn them or, better yet, how marketers can use those bodies to sell stuff.

Many of you may think that I'm overreacting or making a mountain out of a mole hill, but there are much smarter people than me out there making strong cases for how marketing to young children (especially to young girls) is having much larger implications - including the  over-sexualization of  our kids. KIDS.

For really great reads on the subject, The Packaging of Girlhood and Cinderella Ate My Daughter are very thorough.

Do my girls still wear pink. Yep. Do they still play "princess"? Ayup. Do they like bows? Absolutely loathe them. There is still a lot of "traditional girliness" in our midst, but we talk about it ALL the time. Every trip to the store, every commercial, every birthday party - we ask questions, we analyze, and we try to get our girls to see through the dollar signs.

It's gonna be a long road as we continue on this whole raising girls journey and we are certainly not perfect. But I'm really glad that I can reassure my girls that they are girly-enough and absolutely wonderful no matter what they are into wearing or doing.

{Since I know you are all probably curious, we left the store today with some classic Chucky T's - black for the eldest and pink for the little.They both got to pick what would be going on their body, as that is the new rule}

My eldest is also definitely outside "hiking" in our back yard as she wrestles large sticks away from our dog and gives a stirring rendition of "Let it Go."