Over the years ‘becoming you’ is something that has profoundly become harder despite things such as legal gay marriage and support for people who are transgender etc. But, it’s important to remember, it’s not just people who are gay/transgender or a certain ethnicity that are struggling to find their feet in todays world. Nearly every teenager is having a hard time committing to becoming themselves because from a young age they’re not encouraged to.
I was inspired to write this post because of a few things that I’ve witnessed in the last year, one thing was something that happened recently. I was in a toy store and as a girl of probably no younger than 2 picked up a ‘boys toy’ her mother in turn screamed at her and told her to go and put the toy back. Why you ask? Apparently (according to the poor girls mother) she is a girl and because of this she is not allowed to have a ‘boys toy’.
Being a slight tom-boy I was very hurt by this. I know for a fact, as a child I loved dark things like Harry Potter and now Star Wars and Marvel, but I also adored and still adore anything glittery and cute. And I turned out just fine.
I was upset not only because I was offended – does this mean that I’m not a true girl because I like boys things too? But, I was also upset for the little girl. Of course, she is too young to understand the troubles of being yourself, but she obviously was attracted to this certain toy for whatever reason and would have taken it home and played for hours compared to perhaps a Barbie toy. Lastly, I was upset with the mother. I understand that its a parents responsibility to bring their child up how they see fit, whether they’re religious and they’re influencing that upon them or even to the same food choices. But, I was upset that in 2016, a mother decided that this was the acceptable way to handle the situation and in turn made the executive decision in that split second that her daughter couldn’t be whoever she wanted to be.
I was very tempted to approach the little girl and tell her some advice, but figured best not to as didn’t want to make anybody awkward or uncomfortable. So, I’m writing it here, for the little girls, boys, mums, dads, anybody who will listen.
To all of the little girls that are told you can’t have a boys toy because you’re a girl. Remember, you can like whatever you like. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t hide it, embrace what you like. We are all individuals and have our own preferences for a reason.
To all of the little boys that aren’t allowed to buy that princess dress because they’re a boy. Once again, you can like whatever you like, but its important to stay true to your heart. You may be young, but from a small age we begin to know who we are and in turn make even more wonderful discoveries about ourselves.
To the mum who tells their child daily to like anything but the thing they want to enjoy. Turn the situation around, imagine your child telling you not to like your day-time television or those delicious biscuits that cost a bomb. You and your child are both human, we all are, and we all have our preferences for a reason. Imagine a world where we were all clones? How boring would that be.
To the teenager thats hiding in the toilet daily who’s afraid to be themselves because they’ll get bullied. High School sucks, but it will soon be over and you’ll be the one smiling when those morons are either jobless, constantly drunk or smoking a tone daily. Or sometimes all of the above.
To the child thats afraid to be smart and are mocked for being so. Don’t play dumb, you can only do your exams once and they are important! Being smart is a blessing, please god embrace it and never play dumb to be cool – it’s far from cool.
To the adults sat on their sofa watching people on TV following their dreams wishing you were them. Get up. Look in the mirror. Ask yourself what you want from life and go out and live it. Have long-term and short-term goals not to avoid disappointment, and never be scared to fail.
To the grandparents that are still living in the 1960s. Please stop being racist, homophobic, and overall inappropriate about people that are just as equal in this world as you are.
To the men that don’t understand feminism and think us females want to be better than you.
To the women that don’t understand feminism and think us females want to be better than men.
And finally. To you, dear reader. Remember to love yourself and be you.