A Letter to My Daughters on International Women’s Day
Dear Mallory, Averell and Olivia:
I wish I could silence the critics out there who whisper in harsh voices “Never Enough”. No matter what you have accomplished, they’re will be people and the media who question how thin are you, what you’re wearing and if you have a man in your life.
And when and if you do decide to have children, I hope you don’t encounter the impossibly high standards of modern motherhood, where the world focuses on getting you “body back” after baby, more than it celebrates a body that created the miracle of life.
Perhaps you will recognize the painful stab of “Never Enough”, when you watch other women, who have spent a whole life cultivating a successful career and fighting for issues that they believe in, only to be told to smile more and to be friendlier. It’s as though they think that women’s assertiveness and their ambitions turn women into shrews. Successful men are never held up to the same kind of scrutiny.
This will leave you asking what to do when people criticize you. I find hope in Lady Gaga’s (who thought!) graceful response to her critics:
“Be you, and be relentlessly you.”
For this reason, I urge you to not allow the words of others to hold too much weight. Don’t let the pursuit of unachievable perfection rob your happiness and cloud your ability to accurately perceive your strengths, or steal you from the joy of celebrating your accomplishments. Don’t listen when the world tells you that you are not enough.
Inevitably there will be days where you feel like you do not measure up and will need someone to remind you that you do. I promise to be that someone.
Be smart, be brave, be fierce, be kind, but most of all BE YOU! And remember that always and no matter what, that is enough.
I love you,