Thursday, May 29, 2008
You Wanna Rephrase That, Honey?
As we're innocently watching "So You Think You Can Dance?" (Oh, SHUT UP--like you were watching "Crossfire" or something) last night, the segment with the little pageant gal contestant came on. I know that my daughter's been exposed to near saturation to this whole corporate princess culture we have going on right now, so I'm aware that a young woman with a spray-on tan, bleached hair and teeth, and a pageant strut who is wearing a tiara, even, might be a mighty seductive image to my naive, innocent daughter. Of course, I want to nip this in the bud, because, no offense to pageant queens (this is the South, after all--you're inescapable and I love more than a few of you--you know who you are), I don't really relish the idea of my daughter someday strutting around on a stage wearing only high heels, a bikini, and a spray-on tan...unless she is doing so in the process of accepting her Pulitzer or Nobel Peace Prize, in which case anything goes.
As Alex and I mimed gagging behind Bella's back while Miss Bleach Bikini (yeah, I use haircolor--hypocrite, much?) did a few turns for the benefit of the cameras, Bella asked a question about the girl's not-quite-natural skin color (Oompah-Loompah Orange), which launched a little discussion about the things some people do to achieve certain ideals of "beauty," and where our value as women lies. This is a kid who is frequently told how "pretty" she is, which is all the more reason that we try, as often as possible, to praise and cultivate her many other qualities, like intelligence, creativity, and compassion. In other words, we don't want her thinking that "pretty" has any real, intrinsic human value, if you get where I'm coming from. In any case, it's good to know that her father has my back in these matters.
Me: "So you see, My Dear, YOU are worth a million times more for what's in here (taps her head) and what's in here (taps her heart), than you are for how pretty you look."
Bella: "Yeah. Because someday, I am going to know EVERYTHING."
Alex: "That's right, Bella--look at your Mommy, for example...you can tell that I married her for her brains..."(trails off, gets panicked look on face)
Me: (stares expectantly at husband)
Alex: "...AND beauty. Because she is beautiful! But smart! Beautiful AND smart! See how pretty she is? And so smart, that she knows that's what I meant--"
Me: "Dude, you basically just said that your wife has a face for radio. I'd just hush now."
P.S. Yeah, that's right. I made a LOLCHICKEN. Actually, I made two. Wanna fight about it?