Ok, so here’s something I feel really strongly about: the total absence of good role models for young girls. I mean seriously people, it’s beyond pathetic. As if it isn’t hard enough for young girls to figure out what is the right way to be, act, and achieve, you have complete nincompoops like Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, and all their scrawny, useless friends. And whoa, hey, I know what you are saying right now: “Oh, M, you are just jealous of their fame and beauty!” Well, in fact, no — I completely loathe them and all their pathetic, attention grabbing stunts. The worst part is that they don’t even realize the power they have to make a positive difference in girls’ lives. I mean, when I was in grade nine, I was seriously depressed. I looked around me and I did not see one single person who was living the life that I wanted, I did not see one single thing to be excited about. And later on, working with girls of this same age on a sail training ship, I saw echoes of this mentality. I also saw them slowly come alive, throughout the week, seeing that there is a whole world out there, that they really ARE capable of taking the helm (cheez alert!) of both the ship and their own futures. It makes me so sad to see, and I know I am guilty of the same crime, that ridiculous desire to be thin; but if you type in “eating disorders” or “anorexia” or “dieting” you come up with an array – not of useful information or advice or help, but millions of teen girl bloggers offering the latest “thinspo” and self-poisoning nonsense and hatred towards their bodies. I mean, I have definitely had my moments, but I have always, somewhere underneath, known that at least I love and appreciate my body for all the miracles it performs each and every day! A body that allows me to walk, hike, run, ride a bicycle, hug people (and trees – which I have been known to do!) and generally provide this excellent platform from which to enjoy life. Yes, there are things which I still hate about my body! I hate my scar on my belly from my appendectomy 22 years ago, a real butcher job, and I hate how, even though I am not fat really, the scar is like a valley in Fat Land, and makes me never want to wear a bikini! And, of course, there are other things. But I guess I am really fortunate in that I DID find some amazing female role models. My mother, of course, has always been there as an incredible inspiriation, as the owner of her own successful business, a powerful, feisty woman! But later on, I ran into other amazing women, including Charlotte, Sherry, Dianne…. all older women who opened my eyes to the concept of being strong, beautiful, competent, intelligent, witty… all the things that I could ever desire to be. And so, I have made it my mission, in whatever way I can, to be a good role model for girls. I’m not sure yet what form that will take, whether it’s talking in schools or whatever, but I want to get involved and somehow show them that there are better, healthier, more worthy people out there to worship than gongshows like Paris Hilton, that to be pretty and intentionally dumb is not only a crime against yourself but against all women!
Well that’s my rant for today.