Empowerment

couple-in-movie-theatreThe other day, Spencer and I were lucky enough to have a couple hours to ourselves, so we went to the movies!  A rare treat for parents, as many of you can relate! 😉

We saw “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” and it was awesome.  Definitely not disappointed.  But, before the movie started, there were the usual commercials and short video documentaries that they always show while the theater is filling up.

While we were watching and waiting, there was a commercial with all well-known male actors, such as Daniel Craig, Ryan Gosling, and Bradley Cooper.  It was a message about sexual assault, and about a woman’s right to consent, as well as to say, “No.”  It talked about being a “real man,” and respecting women.  Overall, a great message!

And then, I thought about all of the other wonderful messages celebrities try to be a part of.  Celebrities are always speaking out for causes they believe in, and movements they are passionate about, and it’s all well and good.

Awareness and education are great things.

I think back to the whole “Body Image” movement, though, and how the intentions are great, but there are huge holes missing, and it’s the same thing with these messages.

While having well-known men talk about respecting a woman’s body and wishes is great, unfortunately, seeing this commercial on the big screen isn’t going to stop someone from actually doing it.

There’s a lot of talking about it, saying all the buzz words, a lot of “dog and pony shows,” and a lot of superficial actions…Somewhere along the way, we’ve lost touch with reality.

I think we’ve reached a point in our time that we are too “movement-happy” and have forgotten where all of it actually needs to start ~ At the home!

Now, of course, not everyone is fortunate enough to have awesome parents or caregivers, or an awesome upbringing.  But, the majority of us are good parents, however I think sometimes we can put too much power and/or responsibility into other people’s hands, when we should be keeping it in our own hands!

A great example is this cartoon:

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Now, again, I’m going to put in the disclaimer that there are always exceptions and individual cases, so by no means am I trying to put us all in the same group here.  I am talking about the majority of us, though.

I was thinking about the sexual assault message that the fine men shared on screen, and I thought about my daughter.

How will I help her be comfortable and confident with her body, and respect herself enough to make a man wait to be with her until she is really ready??!!

It scares me…A lot!  Bailey is only 2 years old, and yet I know it will feel like tomorrow when I’m watching her ride off in a limo with her boyfriend to Senior Prom!

What steps am I going to take these next 16 years to prepare her for that night?!

I sure as hell ain’t going to rely on celebrities and social media.

I’m going to try my best to encourage Bailey to take some form of martial arts so that she can girlsdefend herself.

I will love my body and myself, so that Bailey learns to love her body and herself.

I will teach her that she has control over who touches her, so if she does not want to hug her uncle one day, then I will not force her to.

I’m going to support and encourage her in sports and academics so that she feels confident and successful.  I will be her biggest cheerleader, and not her coach.

I am going to let her fail and lose, and have disappointments, so that she learns to get back up and fight for it.

I’m going to communicate openly and candidly with her, and build a trust between the two of us so that she will feel safe to come to me with heavy topics.

I’m going to educate her and teach her that every action has a consequence, and I will hold her accountable for her consequences.

I will be her mother, not her friend.

For the next 16 years, I am going to try to do everything possible to empower Bailey for that day.

I hope she learns to love CrossFit, too.  I certainly do not expect her to be competitive like me, but I do hope that she makes it a lifestyle for herself some day!

10335670_10203683621234058_1011571836_nBeing physically strong and capable has so many positive effects on a person’s life.  Not only do you look great, but you feel great, have more confidence, build stronger relationships, tend to be more on-task, more motivated, have a sharper mind, and have better moods.

It is MY responsibility as Bailey’s mother to show her, teach her, and offer her opportunities to learn and grow, find her strengths, and be empowered.

I guess, in many ways, though, I’m making my own movement here on this blog.

Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about personal responsibility.

I think we need to bring it back old school, folks!  

It’s not Dove Skincare’s responsibility to make my body image healthy.  It’s not Daniel Craig’s responsibility to teach your boy to respect girls.  And, it’s not Jamie Oliver’s responsibility to get our kids and students to eat healthier.

It’s YOUR responsibility.

It’s MY responsibility.

All of these messages and movements are great “ice breakers,” and when the day comes that Bailey and I are watching one of them on TV or at the movies, it will be my responsibility to use that opportunity to talk with her about it.

Maybe that’s the step so many of us are missing?  The follow through with those great messages.  Not taking advantage of those opportunities to talk about those topics.

Either way, the buck stops here.

It starts and ends with you.

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