On January 20th 1993, my little sister and I ditched school. Our age: 9 and 10 years old. Our accomplice: Our joy riding, cookie baking, mother. The crime: Watching President Clinton’s inauguration into the white house. It definitely wasn’t the hookie day to Disneyland that kids dream about, but I was still stoked to wear my pink pajamas all day and sit on our navy blue sofa with the cute little birds on it. At that time anything was better than long division. Even if it meant watching the man who had monopolized our television for the past 4 months at the effect of us missing our favorite TV show, Full House. I realize now that sitting on that couch I learned something more valuable than the oath a president says when he takes office. I learned that my mother, the woman I look up to cares about who runs her country and thus so should I. As I grew up I found that politics and world hunger was not the topic of discussion at the dining room table for many of my girl friends families. Breast implant, make-up, boyfriends and celebrities took the place. The result in recent years has been a society of women who only feel as powerful as their looks. Women who don’t have strong role models don’t become strong leaders who care about their country and making a difference in it. Now, more than ever, America needs a women president. A woman who would send the message that a woman can lead with strength, leadership and compassion. The unique leadership abilities of all women are needed and would make a more optimized society if they were tapped into. If America does not elect a women president, women will continue to look towards the women that are in the spot light (predominantly celebrities) who are only as valuable as their physical appearance.
Take the increase of breast implants into consideration. The American Society for Aesthetics Plastic Surgery reports that nearly 330, 000 women underwent breast surgeries in 2004, more than triple the total since 1997. That is more than an 800 percent increase since 1992. Half of the women I know from school, work and even church have breast implants. I remember being 15 and sitting with my friends who would discuss the idea of breast implants with their mom’s. One of my friends mom’s told her, “I wish you could be happy the way you are. But, if you’re not then why don’t you get on the internet and do some research into finding a good plastic surgeon.” Another friend’s mom said, “You can get the procedure done when you are able to take the money out of your trust fund when you’re eighteen.” Women are born with an innate ability to discernment and sensitivity. The focus is no longer on the strengths women are born with. Instead its on making the women the most beautiful she can be.
Young women develop who they are by the messages society sends them of what is acceptable. American society is very distinct on what is and isn’t approved of. The only women who are predominantly in the spot light are celebrities. Britney Spears is given attention for her shocking (nearly there) wardrobe, Cameron Diaz makes headlines for losing a boyfriend, Tyra Banks makes the news when she gains a couple of pounds. The underlying message is you must always look your best, keep your man and be skinny otherwise we’ll just make fun of you and lump you into the “Loser” category. A study done at the University of Calgary on teenagers with celebrity idols found that a ghastly 60 percent of participants admitted that a celebrity idol had a profound influence on their attitudes and personal values, including their work ethic and views on morality. And nearly half said that their idol inspired them to pursue activities including acting, sports, becoming a vegetarian or using drugs. For thousands of years women have had the talent of creativity and nurturing. When strong messages are relayed that a women can only be as creative as the fashion trends allow it depletes the God given uniqueness she has been given. A women who stands apart from the trends and states that being different is okay is needed.
My little niece is 10 years old. She just visited state capital of California on a field trip. They were looking at a long hall of portraits of all of the passed Governors of California. When my sister told her, “Maybe one day you’ll be Governor sweetie.” My niece replied, “I can’t I’m not a boy.” All of our passed Governors have been men. “What you see really is what you get.” Young girls can’t be expected to think big if the example is not set for them. I’m not saying that it’s Britney Spears job to be a role model, but somebody needs to step up and do it.
Right now I work as a blogger. I can type this blog up from an office, school, Starbucks, my sisters den or sitting on my mom’s Queen bedroom set. I like to think I live a pretty charmed life. At a time where technology and health are at it’s peak. I feel well equipped to accomplish whatever my heart desires. It pains me to think about the women who were never taught that skin is just the wrapping paper to the real present inside.