Vivian loves to dance. A few times a week, we waltz around the kitchen, jive in the entry, or crazy dance in the living room.
She used to wish desperately that we’d sign her up for dance classes; now, she’s stopped asking. I know there are a zillion benefits to dance, from coordination to confidence, but I can’t deal with it. It is outside my comfort realm.
I don’t do hair. And I don’t do buns. And I don’t want to spend my free time watching YouTube videos to figure out how to do a hairstyle she has to wear. I also don’t do makeup on kids. It’s hard enough growing up to love yourself when what you need to look like isn’t prescribed. Plus, I know what her gene pool is: formal dance isn’t in the picture, though soccer and basketball are.
And, to be honest, something about it seems vaguely sexist.
One afternoon, Vivian wanted me to buy her special dance clothes, the tutu, the tights, the lycra. I refused. She begged. She had just finished a recital at home for us.
Then I said this:
I don’t remember how Vivian responded. Most likely she did another pirouette flop. My husband, however, dropped the knife he was using to slice cheese.
Excellent. I have a double major in English and Women’s Studies. I regularly rant on the problem of sexualizing young girls, from bare midriffs and words-on-bums to wedge heels. And now, I’ve just told my daughter she can dance without clothes.
Mommy needs a time out.