It Takes A Village… to raise a child. So, I’m asking bloggers from my village to each write a message for me to pass on to my girls. If you’d like to write one, let me know.
This week’s message to my girls is from the gorgeous, talented and vivacious Carly Findlay from the fab blog Tune Into Radio Carly.
Dear Little Words,
You are going to meet so many interesting people in your lives. People from foreign countries with different skin tones, languages and accents. People who have experienced difficult times. People in same sex relationships. People from many occupations (imagine the types of jobs that will be around when you’re grown up!). People with disabilities and illnesses that may look and do things a little differently to you. Diversity is beautiful – and I encourage you to embrace it.
When you see someone in a wheelchair or whose face may look a bit different (like me), don’t be frightened of them. Go up to them and say hello. It’s ok to be curious, as long as you’re not rude. Ask them about their life. Tell them about your life. You may just make a new friend! People from diverse backgrounds will enrich your life so much – they’ll help you to learn and grow and see new perspectives.
Maybe when you’re teenagers, the media will portray diversity in a different way to what its doing now. Hopefully we’ll see a person with a disability on the front cover of a magazine. Hopefully the Nobel Prize Winner will be as popular as Miss Universe. Hopefully we’ll aspire to be as smart or as kind as a celebrity, rather than aspiring to be as thin or as flawless as they look. Try not to worry that you don’t look like the airbrushed women in magazines or the singers who are only popular because they’re not wearing many clothes and dancing rudely around poles and men. Appreciate your uniqueness and know that you are beautiful and perfect without having to change the way you look. Don’t listen to anyone who judges you on your appearance alone – being kind, open-minded and compassionate (and living a great life) is so much more important than looking good.
There will be times where you’ll want to be like everyone else you know. You’ll want to look like they do, wear the same fashions they are and listen to the music they listen to. Gosh I hope most of the music of today does not become classic like Nirvana (ask your Mum) or Savage Garden (ask me). But I want you to know it’s ok to be an individual. Wear what makes YOU happy! You can wear bootleg jeans when everyone’s wearing skinny leg jeans. It’s ok to be different. You can be the biggest fan of the daggiest singer and feel good about it (but if you’re like me, you probably won’t ever marry that singer!). And it’s ok for others to want to break away from the mould too. They don’t have to follow the crowd. When I reached my mid 20s, I came to love being me – differences and all. And you will love being you too (or U2 – ask Eden;).
So what I’m saying is: appreciate being unique, take the time to get to know those that look a little different, and remember that everyone is beautiful – we all have something to offer this world.
Carly Findlay lives in Melbourne. She’s an appearance activist, blogger and writer, community TV presenter and lover of cooking, live music, fashion and Darren Hayes. She’s about to embark on her first overseas trip to the UK to speak at a university conference about appearance and to the USA to attend BlogHer. So. Freaking. Excited. Carly blogs at http://carlyfindlay.blogspot.com and tweets at @carlyfindlay