Last week, I was lying on a Thomas the Tank engine blanket in my garden soaking up some sun. We had spent part of the morning watching my eldest son in his sports day. If I’m honest it’s never a good day for me. My competitive nature struggles to see my boy strive to participate in any of the special events crafted by his amazing teachers.
So, as I lay feeling slightly emotional and a little drained I flicked through Facebook and came across the Always #likeagirl advert. You have to watch it…NOW
The film finished and I sobbed. It touched me in a place I didn’t know was there. I confess I have used the phrase “like a girl” in a derogatory way. I suddenly realised I have come to see some of the things that characterise me as a girl as weaknesses.
So I decided to write my Top 8 reasons why it’s good to be like a girl.
1) I don’t have to prove I’m like a girl.
There is no pressure on me to be feminine. I don’t get accused of looking manly if I wear trousers and I get to enjoy wearing clothes of any shade. I don’t feel pressurised into proving myself as a career woman but it is an option and I’m not considered weird if I choose to stay home to look after my kids.
2) Driving like a girl
Driving like a girl means I’m less likely to have an accident (well that’s what the statistics say although my husband may disagree). That could mean I get cheaper car insurance, if it wasn’t for equality.
3) Fighting like a girl
Normally, I avoid confrontation but I definitely fight like a woman. When the need arises I will fight like a demon for my kids. I will shout and scream and try to change what needs to be changed in order for them to have what they need.
4) Running like a girl
I love the Friends episode where Phoebe and Rachel go for a run, arms flailing and all akimbo. I wish I had the courage to run like that. I think I do run like a girl. I run with the wobbles and scars of motherhood. I run when my kids are at school or early in the morning when no-one is awake. And often I just don’t bother…because I have nothing to prove, I’m a girl.
5) Shaving like a girl
I don’t have to get the razor out everyday to smooth my face (not yet anyway). I shave sporadically and when I feel like it. My hairy legs and armpits are nothing a pair of trousers and long sleeved top can’t fix.
6) Helped like a girl
In our house, I’m frequently the one who takes stuff to the tip. When I turn up, I’m inevitably offered help from one of the lovely guys that man the place. That never happens to my husband, and so I’m grateful it is still courteous to be kind to a woman.
7) Crying like a girl
I cry like a girl. That means I am emotional because God placed in me the capacity to feel and care. When I watch a TV programme I don’t just see the action, I instinctively feel the emotions of the characters. Yes, it means I cry in the cinema but it also drives me to help others. It causes me to react, to want to help the vulnerable and stand alongside the weak.
8) Mothering like a girl
If I wasn’t a girl I wouldn’t get the chance to be a mum and although it the toughest job I do, it is also the best and most rewarding. I got to carry a baby and breastfeed. I don’t take either of those things for granted.
I recently read a book by Glennon Doyle Melton in which she uses the phrase ‘Namaste’;
“The divine light in me sees and honours the divine light in you.”
As I lay in my garden, letting the heat of the sun’s rays warm my skin I realised I had lost sight of the divine in me. More upsettingly, I had cowered behind my own insecurities and allowed my boys to see a pale reflection of me. I decided I want my boys to see me behaving ‘like a girl’ and admire it.
I want them to see me in full technicolor, not shying away from my essence, my beauty and divine spirit.
The level of freedom and equality afforded to me is not enjoyed by all girls. Around the world many women are subject to terrible prejudices and restrictions. Only three months ago (14th April 2014) 273 Nigerian girls were taken from school simply because their families wanted to give them an education (#bringbackourgirls). This injustice must be fought and it makes me want to respect the freedom I enjoy every day. Each day I want to be proud to live, love and cry like the girl because that’s how God created me.
Please comment below and tell me, what you do like a girl that you take pride in?