Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Have you ever read about foot binding? It sounded so horrific and cruel. I am reading a beautiful book, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, that talks about it. What amazes me is that this was a rite of passage and little Chinese girls, starting around 5, were made to feel that they should be proud to have it done. Toes broken. Feet oozing with puss. Sisters dying.Then, in some African and Asian cultures, little girls start around the age of 2 to wear neck rings. More and more rings are added to elongate their necks and give them a giraffe like appearance. If they are ever removed, the woman would die of a broken neck. How about lip plates? The bigger the lower lip, the more cattle were paid for an Ethiopian bride. And let us not forget the corset! To give us the "correct body type".
As I write and sit here and think about all these forced changes and mutations that were placed upon a girl in history- and I am not even going to go into the more horrific stuff, some of which still goes on, I am so relieved that my daughters do not have to go through any of it. I watch them run and cartwheel outside during this reprieve in the rain and am grateful for their free moving forms and comfort in life. I just make many tight eyed whispered wishes that they never feel the binds, pain, and pinches of their own self restrictions that comes with looking in the mirror and hating what you see. I want their flowing and care-free minds to see their personal shape, their gorgeous skin tones, their small girl muscles and funny little freckles and claim it as their own! Not one thought of how they can change it and improve it. Save that for their minds. Save that for their generosity. Improve on those things and accept the beauty that thousands of years of genes created that stares back at them before they take off into a sprint again, in a childhood cloud of bliss.