Mean Girls and Mentors - Page 2
Well, these girls weren’t jerks. They were adorable, well-spoken, articulate young ladies enduring a very serious power struggle to outdo one another for the prized throne of leader. These were also girls who clearly enjoyed being with each other. After all, they spend every weekend together at each other’s houses. They just needed a refresher on how to treat one another. So I pulled a little kumbaya, got out my guitar, and made them all sing Joni Mitchell songs. Just kidding. I made them sit in a circle and tell each other just what it is that they liked about each one. I guess you could call it a friendship exorcism. I was helping them clear the air of cruelty. They wanted tattoos and piercings; I wanted gumdrops and lollipops. We settled somewhere on sweet and salty pretzels. It had an after taste and could snap any minute, but looked good enough to try.
Here’s the thing, girls don’t have enough mentors. I hate to get preachy. I really do. But, if your daughter is like mine, she sneaks in that ridiculous, inane MTV show, “The Jersey Shore.” And she thinks the Snooki vernacular is cool. It’s beyond my mental comprehension. I still can't understand why they are on TV in the first place. Dear TV Gods, Really? I mean, really???
Here’s the point. These are the role models that are being elevated to stardom, given all the press, to bring into your living room and made available to impressionable young girls like mine. To borrow my two year old's favorite word: “Gross.” And it is... gross.
I tried. Lord knows I tried. When she was a baby I put together a binder of all these great authors and important historical female figures. I introduced her to Margaret Mead when she was five, I bought books on Eleanor Roosevelt, the women’s movement, Amelia Earheart, and downloaded obituaries of interesting personalities so she would be inspired. I know there’s some kind of oxymoron in there, but it was about their accomplishments. You should see my children’s book collection. It is awesome! As a result, my daughter was an avid reader. We were always buying books and going to the library. And as she grew, she found books more appropriate to her age group. When she was 10, she read “When a Tree Grows in Brooklyn” from cover to cover and cried at the end. She talked about it for days. I was in awe of her intellect.
Fast forward to the sleepover, hurling insults, and MTV.