I recently dropped a comment on a selfie that a young woman I love posted on Instagram. I relayed the famous Carrie Fisher quote “youth and beauty are not accomplishments”. I didn’t think twice about it because it’s a line I use around my own children frequently when I want to remind them that they are so much more valuable than appearances, or how society defines beauty.
I dropped the comment and went about my business, not even thinking she would notice it among the others – but she sure did. We all get that one comment among the positive ones that brings us down. Embarrassingly, I was that one inappropriate and unnecessary comment.
When I got low-key called out for it, I really took some time to reflect: why did I post that? As a Feminist, commenting on the choices of other women is really off-brand for me. I realized I had some work to do.
I came up with the usual excuses to myself – I don’t want teens to worry about their looks, I want to encourage them to share more diverse content, and I don’t want them to measure their value based on social media “likes”. But that is what those are – excuses. What a woman posts on HER social media account is none of my business, and I certainly have no business judging her content.
The work of being a feminist is a journey. It is messy, complicated and there is a lot of room for mistakes – especially when trying to integrate it into your parenting. Clearly, I still have a lot of learning to do – there will be mistakes, there will be apologies, there will be lessons learned. This journey is not always an easy one, but it is a worthwhile one. I am grateful to those who have the grace to remind us of our blind spots and guide us along the way.