It's a really painful thing in a woman's life to realize that you have aged and are being replaced by a younger generation. Nothing makes you realize it faster than having a teen aged daughter. As women, even though we don't like it, we are judged by our face, our hair, and our bodies. As we age, there comes a point where we just can't compete. In fact, were not even in the race anymore. We're cheering from the sidelines.
We fight to stay in it. We diet, we exercise, we try every skin cream on the market, we get Botox and facelifts. I know women older than me that are incredibly good looking. But we are now competing with each other - women of our same age. We show up to PTA meetings with a full face of makeup and judge each other.
I propose something new. Stop the Madness! Let's work together to help this next generation of women mature gracefully. Let's help them respect themselves. This world wide beauty pageant we compete in is unavoidable, but it is temporary. That's liberating. It also means, we have to prepare these ladies to be a lot more than a pretty face.
Let's be role models for them by supporting each other. At the next after school activity, welcome into your group that mom that just couldn't get herself together. Show these girls by our actions, that long after that first gray hair appears we still have one hell of a lot to offer to this world - our brilliant ideas, our hard earned experience, our compassionate hearts. Show them there is a way to get through these teen and early twenty years without having a YouTube video or Instagram picture that will haunt them into their thirties.
That is our duty to these beautiful young girls on the cusp of womanhood and we are uniquely suited to the job. They want to pull away, test their new found independence. Let them be independent. But stay involved. Find ways to connect through music or hobbies. Pretend you think Fall Out Boy is the best band ever, read Cassandra Clare and watch anime. Do what you have to do. Then when you have their attention - talk!
Talk about the pitfalls of underage dinking, unprotected sex and poor choices. Tell them that boyfriend number one is not likely to be the forever boyfriend. Tell them that one quick decision to prank a friend, go along with the group or try that new supplement can have lasting effects that they can't even imagine. And finally, tell them that no matter what they do, no matter what has happened, if they call, you will come.