A few months ago, a friend sent me a link.
“That little girl in the picture?” she told me. “That was totally me.”
I looked, and I read. And I fell in love. Melissa Wardy, who writes Redefining Girly, captures what it means to be a little girl in a simple, perfect phrase: full of awesome.
You thought you were beautiful, even with missing teeth and messy hair and mismatched socks inside your grubby sneakers. You loved your body, and the things it could do. … Do you still have it? The awesome.
The photo of Melissa’s daughter made me think of a similar set of photos I have with my best friend. In the first, we are 12 years old. And, clearly, we are full of awesome. Can you see it?
Senior year, we thought it prudent to recreate the awesome:
I’m almost ashamed to say the first thing I see when I look at the above photo: I see my thighs, staring at me. OK, part of that is because they’re all up in your face, but that’s not what I’m noticing. I’m seeing how not stick-thin they are. I’m seeing a part of my body I’m self-conscious about.
When I wear shorts, I tug them down to cover my thighs. Unless I’m sitting, because then the cuff will cut into the flesh and it will bubble over, because that’s what thighs do. But I am self-conscious, and I will sit with something in my lap just to cover it.
And I see my acne, which has made me self-conscious since day one. If anyone ever tells me I’m pretty, I have trouble not saying “Yeah, I learned to put on makeup well. Acne’s a bitch.”
I think everyone needs a little reminder that she is full of awesome, and that trumps acne and chubby thighs.
Melissa’s blog post inspired me to e-mail her. You may recall the Hear Me Roar necklace. They sold well in Jac & Elsie, and I have only two left. I knew I wanted to replace them with a similar phrase of empowerment. I asked Melissa if she’d mind if I borrowed her phrase. She was happy to oblige and asked if I wouldn’t mind donating a portion of the proceeds to a girls’ group.
Thus, Jac & Elsie Full of Awesome necklaces were born.
For every Full of Awesome necklace sold, I will donate $2 to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. The group’s mission: to transform how females are represented by dramatically improving the gender balance and reducing stereotyping and objectification of female characters in entertainment and media targeting children 11 and younger.
To celebrate the kick off of the Full of Awesome necklaces, I want to see your photos of you being full of awesome. Send me the pics of you with your friends or mothers or sisters or daughters. Or maybe it’s just you, alone, kickin’ it with a feather boa or some pig slippers. Include your first name, state, age and why you’re full of awesome. E-mail your photos to me at Jaclyn1423(at)yahoo(dot)com, and I’ll post a blog of your images next week. And share the love! Tweet this, Facebook it, blog it, help me receive as many photos as I can — because we shouldn’t look at photos of ourselves and see our flaws.
Just our awesome.