7

“I’m not a princess, I’m a girl!”

Have you seen the new Always ad that’s been circulating around Facebook? It’s actually quite good. Their #LikeAGirl campaign has gone viral, and I believe it’s for good reason. Here’s a link to the ad:

For too long has “like a girl” been exclaimed with negative connotations. “You run like a girl”, “You throw like a girl”, “Stop crying like a girl” are a few common phrases that have become so natural to say and so ingrained in our culture as just another figure of speech that we don’t often stop to think of the negative consequences they create in the young female mind. Since when is doing something like a girl bad? When Florence Nightingale founded modern nursing as we know it, we didn’t say “pfft…she might be a nurse, but she’s a girl so who cares”. When Annie Oakley showed the world her sharpshooter skills, we didn’t say “Yeah whatever. She shoots like a girl”. When Amelia Earhart flew across the Atlantic Ocean, I doubt people said “Yeah, but it doesn’t count cause she’s a girl”. When Rosa Parks stood her ground and refused to give up her seat, we didn’t discredit her bravery and tenacity because of her gender. We didn’t say her efforts weren’t as important because “she’s a girl”.

Why is being a girl something to overcome? Why in this day and age, do we still exacerbate these negative gender stereotypes? It isn’t just men who do it. I’ve heard many female friends, co-workers and acquaintances make excuses for their shortcomings based on gender. “Oops I’m having a blonde girl moment”, or “Uggh I don’t want to go to Biology class. What will I ever need that for? Let’s go get our nails done!”. I’ve even heard someone say “Let him look after the math portion of the project. Us girls might be better suited for the social aspect”. When we discredit ourselves, we open up the door for others to discredit us as well. When we downplay our abilities to look “cute”, we are only doing a disservice to ourselves. We unknowingly give permission for others to play up those stereotypes when we give into them ourselves.

Why would we do that? Why is that okay?

I-AM

I’m not usually one to really like advertisements, but this one I loved. It made both men and women themselves realize what they were doing. It makes you realize that there is a distinct shift, right around the age of puberty where women lose confidence in themselves, their abilities, and their worth. It made women realize that doing things “like a girl” isn’t a bad thing. It can be a truly amazing thing. Women in history have accomplished a great deal through strength, perseverance, confidence and faith in their abilities. There’s a huge list of women I could pull from. I hope that my daughter can emulate one of these courageous, intelligent and tenacious women some day.

This is the main reason I try to not only focus on my daughter’s beauty. While she is indeed beautiful, she is so many other wonderful things. She’s smart as a whip, has a memory that baffles both her father and I, she’s musical, imaginative, and curious about how things work. I’m proud to be marrying a man who when my daughter at age 2.5 asked if she could help Daddy re-assemble our computer, said “Sure sweetie, can you turn that piece right there really tight?” rather than “No sweetie, why don’t you go play with your doll”. She loves pressing buttons and taking things apart and putting them back together. She’s hilarious, stubborn and amazing. None of these qualities are gender specific. None of these qualities make her any more or less of a girl.

I often find myself saying things to her like “do you know how smart you are?” or “look how well you did that! Mommy is so proud of you!”. I’ll also tell her that she looks pretty in her new dress, because I don’t want her growing up feeling negative about her looks, but that isn’t our only focus. Why should it be? She’s so much more than her physical appearance.

Which is why the other day when I said “Oh L, you’re Mommy’s little princess” I couldn’t have been more proud that she stood up, planted her feet, lifted her head up high and said with more confidence than I could ever muster:

“Mommy. I’m not a Princess. I’m a girl!!!!”.

photo-main

 

Advertisements
10

Review – Icon Wall Stickers

Let me start this off by stating that I told myself I would never agree to review a product unless it was something I actually saw myself potentially using in my real life. I’m a Mom who is short on time, short on creative and artistic ability, but with a huge desire to have interesting looking artistic pieces in my home. So when I was contacted by Icon Wall stickers to review their product, I jumped on it. I’ve used wall stickers in my daughter’s room before and love the idea of them. What I loved most about the wall stickers from this particular company is that they are completely non-toxic, which to me is of particular importance with a little one running around. I also loved that for each design, you could somewhat customize it by choosing the size and colour you like. It is much more customizable than simply picking one up at a store. They are also priced very reasonably, which means when my little L decides she doesn’t like the design I’ve picked for her anymore, it is easy to simply peel off and replace the sticker without having to completely redecorate her entire room.

You can check out the vast array of wall art they have on their website, here: http://www.iconwallstickers.co.uk/

It took me nearly an hour to choose the designs I’d like. I ended up choosing two: A clock for my dining room wall, and a design for my daughter’s room. These are how they were pictured on their website.

WS-19124-01WS-17689-01

The wall stickers came in a long cardboard tube. It honestly took me a long time to write this review because my little L cried every time I tried to take the cardboard tube from her to open it. She loved playing with it! I had to wait until she was asleep one night to open it without her seeing me.
image

I started with the clock. I was surprised when I opened the tube to discover that the design was actually cut in half and was in two pieces. I presume that this was because I had ordered size large (which in hindsight was probably a mistake). It came with a sheet of instructions which were clear and easy to understand. Because I had the clock in two pieces, I had to tape each piece to my wall held together along the seam with masking tape (I used painters tape as it was all I had on hand). The first side went on easily enough, though I did notice that because of its large size, it was more difficult to smooth it out evenly. If you are ordering size large or extra large, I do highly recommend that you have a second person on hand to help you out.
image

It is because I didn’t have a second person to help me, that I bungled up my clock. When I went to apply the second side, it was not lined up properly with the first. It is off by about 1/2 to 1cm. If you’re far away, you can’t tell, but up close it bothers me that I messed it up. I don’t think this is any fault on the company or their instructions. It is simply my fault for being overly ambitious and insisting I could do it by myself. I do think it would make things much easier to apply if the wall stickers came on one sheet rather than cut in half, though I understand that would likely make shipping costs extraordinarily high.
image
image

When I went to peel off the application paper on the clock, it
was more difficult than I had anticipated. The decal didn’t want to stick to my wall (despite following all instructions and waiting the amount of time suggested to allow the adhesive to stick), so I had to peel back centimeter by centimeter and oftentimes use my finger to gently pick the design off of the application paper and coax it on the wall. Once coaxed on, the rest went on easily, but it ended up being very time consuming, and took nearly 30 minutes to simply peel the paper off of the sticker. I noticed afterwards that there was a spot I didn’t smooth out properly so it was wrinkled, and another spot in the word “Rio deJaneiro”, where the “d” didn’t stick to my wall. I hadn’t noticed at the time, so now that part says “Rio e Janeiro”. Woops!
image

I learned my lesson, however, and applying the one in my daughters room went much better! I think it helped that it wasn’t a set pattern like the clock, so if it didn’t line up perfectly, it didn’t REALLY matter. We got a size large for her as well, and in a dark purple to go on her light purple walls. She loves it, but stands in front of it when I try to take a picture. I think she feels it is for her and her alone. I actually love that she loves it enough to not want to share it with a “picshure”. I guess it is for her, her doggies and her babies to enjoy only. I can tell you that this one looks pretty well identical to the one in the photo! It was much easier to apply, much less stressful, and came out perfectly! That really changed my tune about the product after my clock fiasco. I just have to learn to be less stubborn, I suppose.

I think the main difference between the application of the clock not being so easy, and the application of my daughter’s decal being much easier is that my daughter’s room has “fresher” paint on the walls. Her paint has been on her walls for only a year and a half, whereas the paint on my dining room wall has been there for who knows how long. I think perhaps that since the paint was fresher, the application process was made loads easier!

image

My little L loved helping with the tape!

All in all, I would definitely recommend the Icon Wall Stickers. If you have more than one set of hands, the larger sizes would be much easier to manage, and I imagine the smaller sized ones would be quite simple to apply. I really love that they are non-toxic, and love that my L loves hers so much. I also love that it makes a lazy, non-artistic Mama like me look as though she’s got it all together in her house. Plus, if I decide to redecorate or need a change, peeling and sticking is much easier (and less messy!) than a whole new paint job.

Have you ever used removable wall sticker art in your home? How did you find it? Would anyone be interested in a potential giveaway for an Icon Wall Sticker of their choice?