17:08 Sarah Burton 0 Comments

Trending on twitter today is the hastag To The Girls - a movement sparked by Courtney Summers (a YA author that i had never heard of until today) to share share a message of support, encouragement, positivity or thanks to girls on any of your social media channels—Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram—and include the hashtag #TotheGirls along with it.

I had not heard about this campaign until I saw the hashtag on twitter this afternoon - and when I clicked to see more, I was floored by the response it had. All I could think was: "where was this when I was in junior high?" 

Growing up, my mother was never a girly-girl - I don't think I have ever seen her wear make-up without mine or my sister coercion, she was, and still is, a down to earth, never worrying about herself kind of person. I mean, she was a caregiver for 8 children at one point, so the fact that she managed (and had the energy) to bathe more than twice a week astonishes me...i'm 21 with no kids and have to force myself out of bed to shower

So I grew up with a perspective that was a lot different from other girls my age. While my peers were wearing make-up and spending hours on their hair, I was rocking a ponytail for the majority of my life. We never had mother-daughter dates at the salon or anything....and to be honest, we judged those who did. Somewhere around high school I adopted the attitude that all of the girls who were spending all of their time trying to make themselves  look good were just insecure and stupid. But I (I thought) was superior and had no self image issues because I didn't cake myself in makeup or spend all of my money on clothes to make boys like me. (Spoiler Alert: I was lying to myself BIG time)

I kept this attitude throughout high school, and into university. I didn't wear make up because I thought I looked fine - I did it because I wanted to feel like I liked myself.

It wasn't until this past summer that I even realized the motives behind this. It went far beyond the way I dressed - I was afraid of being feminine at all. I was so scared of being vulnerable and sensitive. I chose to be tough, secure and all things that society told me would make people like me more. If I wore make-up and dresses, I would be expected to cry and be sensitive and talk about my feelings - and that was a whole other can of worms I had to open over the past few years.

God made both male and female. And He made them both good. He chose to make males and females different. There was nothing that made one more superior than the other, but the masculine/feminine traits work in a balance with each other. Then it goes beyond gender differences to personality differences - and these are all good things. Being emotional, crying, laughing, and being sensitive to others is just one way that we connect with people. It is not a ministry hindrance - it is a ministry tool. I can be strong and smart and tough - and still wear glitterized high heels.

I haven't watched New Girl in a while (and I do have a problem with some of the writing) but this quote has been my mantra for a while:

Heck yes, Jess! This is my #ToTheGirls:

To the girls who are afraid to be girly because society tells you "feminine" is a dirty word - rock some polka dots. buy those glitter shoes. don't let people's expectations of who you should or should not be define you. your only limits are the ones you place on yourself. Put on some red lipstick (or don't) and don't care about what others think - Choose to be the best you that you know how to be. It might take some time, and it might take some failing, but you'll find who God has made you to be.