This is a re-post from my private journal but I imagine it is a topic that may end up coming up more in my life if things go as my daughter would plan.
A little background: I have always been a tomboy, but I also went through a long phase in teen years and early adulthood of believing that my greatest worth came in how I looked and everything else was superfluous. I have finally outgrown that to such a degree that I think I may actually have achieved self-esteem based on who I am as a whole person, not how I look. But it took turning 40 years old, having an autoimmune disease and getting fat (and still having my friends and family love me) to really get it through my head.
Despite my vain confusion for years on what is important in life as a woman, I still have never particularly liked wearing make-up and generally don't, and I'm far more inclined to wear jeans and sweatshirts as opposed to dresses and I almost never wear high heels because wearing them a lot will shorten your soleus muscle and wreak havoc on your back. I've jumpstarted cars for more damsel in distress acquaintances than I can count and I am more inclined to go do manual labor in the rain and mud than my husband. An old roommate once asked me if I wasn't worried about not being feminine enough and I said in surprise, "How could I not be feminine? I'm a girl!"
So, this is what my daughter announced to me the other day:
My daughter has announced that she really wants to be a fashion model. Oh joy. What a wonderfully anti-me career! Could she choose anything more anti-Mom than that? Well, maybe a fundamentalist Christian carrying God Hates Fags signs at children's funerals. Not only does she want to be a fashion model when she grows up, she wants to be one now. I told her there are kids who are models but also told her that it is hard work. And I don't think kids get to walk on the catwalk, which she found very disappointing. Despite that she still wants to do it. So, I sent in some information to The Seattle Model's Guild (one of the only legitimate ones I could find seeing as I have limited knowledge of legitimate modeling agencies). They sent back a polite letter saying that unfortunately they are saturated by clients in her age group but why don't we try this other agency (who's name I can't think of off the top of my head). I looked them up and they looked fairly harmless so I sent some information to them. I explained to EJ that whether or not she gets an interview with them has NOTHING to do with whether or not she is pretty or charming or a good person. It has to do with what "look" is popular and selling these days and that is totally just a wild card. And if they don't want an interview with her then it has NOTHING to do with her value or attractiveness as a person. She seems to understand this so we forge ahead with our new anti-me adventure.