The Popularity Virus

It’s happened. 

Cabin Girl told me this morning that one of her ‘friends’ at school (N) has been telling their classmates that she thinks CG is ugly.

Put her in front of a camera and there will be no shortage of ham.

People… well, people are mean.  Everyone has unkind thoughts, whether they’re bidden or not.  But little girls?  I’m relearning that little girls are CRUEL. 

I’d finally forgotten that in the 2nd grade there were countless nights that I cried to my mom about not having any friends.  I’d forgotten that because of my super rosy cheeks people made fun of my red face.  I’d forgotten that I was one of the chubby girls.  That my rough skin denoted the nickname ‘Chicken Skin.’  ‘Amazon.’  The weird girl.  The goober. 

But CG, she’s none of those.  She’s rail thin (seriously, some days it worries me), her hair is gorgeous, her eyes are Captain’s beautiful hazel eyes, her nose is perfect.  But she’s also hilarious.  She’s smart, sharp as a tack.  A ballerina to her little 6 year old soul.  Energetic, ready for anything, creative, and she CARES, you guys.  She cares so much it’s annoying!  She loves fashion, music, and dancing.  Butterflies, ponies, and rainbows.  She’s my firstborn; a leader.  She is the epitome of all that is girly but loves parking it on the couch to watch football and each chips with her daddy.

So what is it then?  Does N have someone at home teaching her that people like CG are not to be loved, but hated?  Envied?  Where else does this need to put others down come from? 

This morning brought us a new thing to worry about.  How do I keep my daughter from becoming Miss Popularity?  When she is surrounded by peers who insist that what she looks like and behaving daringly is what’s important, how can I keep her sweet, and honest, and kind?  How can I keep that taint from seeping into her?

After her statement this morning we sat on her bed.  I brushed her hair and we talked about the things we love about each other and ourselves, inside and out.  And I explained to her that what her peers think don’t matter; not in the end.  The people who made fun of me or didn’t like me?  I’m not friends with them anymore, if I ever was, so what they think doesn’t matter.  What this N girl thinks, it doesn’t matter.  Because every day, when she gets out of school, she has two brothers and a mommy who love every part of her just the way she is waiting for her.  Her daddy will come home from work and give her a kiss because he loves her just the way she is, too.  She does and will have true friends that like her for the person she is, not the person she looks like.  And she has family, so much family, that wouldn’t want her to change for the world.

But I’m afraid now.

There’s no room for innocence anymore guys, and it terrifies me.

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About Domestic Pirate

Hi, my name is Jessica. I am a stay at home momma wench who is addicted to all things Piratey, the internet and cookie dough. If you like any of those things, I think we'll get along just fine.

2 thoughts on “The Popularity Virus

  1. She is beautiful and smart, and she is very lucky to have a mother who cares about her so much. I think you’re doing the right thing, sitting her down to talk about all the wonderful things about both of you, and explaining that some people just feel like they have to tear other people down to feel good about themselves. My mother made me feel horrible about myself and my appearance, and I still struggle with that on a daily basis. It hurt infinitely more than anything my peers ever said. Parents’ opinions matter to children, and she will internalize your love and acceptance of her. Hearing how smart and kind and awesome she is from you and her father, that’s the best thing she can carry with her out into the world. As Dita von Teese famously said, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.”

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