Sunday, Aug. 29, 2004 | 8:12 a.m.



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Still More Coolness

Two Little Girls

Yes, it was Fuel by Ani Difranco. I knew you'd guess it, rowan79.

Last night I watched the scariest movie I've ever seen -- thirteen. Talk about a reason to lock your little girl up in a tower until she's 30...

Watching the little girl in the movie try to grow up too fast -- sex, drugs and reaching for the "power" of the popular girl -- reminded me of some of the girls I knew in high school. And of course, I was trying to think of ways to be sure it doesn't happen in my own home. I'm quite sure I'm fooling myself, in that regard, by thinking it won't happen to me if I a) stay involved with my girls and b) don't try to be their "friend" instead of their mother. Somewhere inside I hear a little voice whispering that yes, those things matter, but what matters even more is that girls have a strong sense of self esteem and confidence, and boy, isn't that hard to impart in a world of supermodels and Britney Spears (sorry, Brit -- whether or not you want to accept your status as a role model, you are one, and while you may have gotten there by some modicum of intelligence or talent as opposed to by looking like a teenage whore, it certainly doesn't come across that way in any of your media), where it seems like the only power afforded a young woman is via her looks and ability to be sexy -- and not much else.

So what's a mom to do? Keep my kids involved in after school programs? Encourage her to participate in sports? What kinds of activities help build self-esteem in young girls? I mean, it so seems like American society is set to prevent that. At least, that's what the scared part of my mind tells me. The more optimistic part tells me there are girls out there serving as role models by being smart, witty and intelligent. The problem is, the protagonist of the movie -- Tracy -- reminded me so painfully of Gabrielle that I was stunned into numbness, not unlike the huffed out girls at the beginning of the movie. How can I help Gabrielle find the power in being herself and not in emulating friends, who may or may not be doing the right thing?

Shit. I guess I just keep doing what I'm doing and pray it's the right thing.

here comes little naked me padding up to the bathroom door
to find little naked you slumped on the bathroom floor
so i guess i'll just stand here with my back against the wall
while you distill your whole life down to a 911 call


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