Moms!

My Mom sent me this e-mail yesterday:

“I just read the blogs from Jezebel – Imagine all the women out there that you made feel good today ~  I am Sooooooo proud to be your Mom, you’re an amazing woman and I just love your positive attitude to all people, with all the negativity in the world I’m sure glad you’re in it~Love you to the Nth degree times infintity to the power of eternity and LOTS more”

My Mom has always been this awesome.

And trust me when I tell you that it wasn’t easy.  I was a “highly intelligent but difficult” child per my school records.   As she has told me any number of times I was born 4o years old,  a combination of Lisa Simpson, Stewie Griffin, Hermione Granger, and Sheldon from Big Bang Theory.   It seems that the same independence, veracity, and outspokenness that we admire in adults is somewhat less endearing in children.

I can’t even count the number of times my Mom went to bat for me when I was a kid – teacher’s who didn’t know how to handle me, a bitter band director who tried to hold me down, people telling me that something I was doing  was impossible and I should quit.  My mom is a natural peace keeper but you could not mess with her children without having to deal with her. I remember standing in the principal’s office while Mrs. Goggins said “Your daughter insists on correcting me in front of the class.”  Mom looked at her completely deadpan and said “Are you wrong?”.  Mrs. Goggins exasperatedly replied “That’s NOT the point.”  My Mom turned to the principal and said “This is a school, right?  Isn’t learning the correct information exactly the point?”

My Mom is just amazing and I know how lucky I am to have her.  She is the reason that I’m able to do the self-esteem and body image work that I do, she’s the reason why I’ve always been certain that I can succeed at anything I want to do, she is the (not so) secret of my success.

So, if you are a Mom, today might be a good day to really think about the lessons that you are teaching your kids about their self-esteem and their bodies.  Lessons that you teach directly, indirectly (How do you talk about your body?  What magazines do you have laying around the house?) and that you allow others to teach them all count. This is a huge thanks to all of the Mothers out there who are trying hard to raise children with high self-esteem and good body image in a culture that tries hard to make that impossible.

Since I know that she reads this blog I just want to say Happy Mother’s Day to the Best Mom in the Whole World.  I love you to infinity to the power of infinity and LOTS more!

Published in: on May 9, 2010 at 5:58 pm  Comments (5)  

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ragen I love the message you get across in this blog! Congratulations to your mom for standing up to the principal and knowing her daughter was entitled to respect – even from authority figures. Do you know (Malcolm Gladwell’s book, ‘Outlier’?
    I’ve been outraged by seeing some of my daughters’ friends berated by their own mothers over eating a second cookie. I’m so glad you’re addressing this topic and helping girls know what’s really important!

    • Thanks Karen, that means a lot coming from someone who does such awesome work in the world! I’ve heard of “Outlier” but haven’t read it yet, I should probably pick it up. Sounds like your daughter is lucky to have a mom who is cultivating high self-esteem :)

  2. I wish my mom was as awesome as yours…when I was a little kid I fell into the same category, but I didn’t have someone to back me up or stand up for me…in fact I ended up losing a lot of the spark I had because the people that were supposed to build me up helped to keep me torn down by telling me that if I wasn’t bigger or if I stopped crying then they wouldn’t make fun of me…

    Today I’m 22 and I’ve just recently discovered your blog and let me say that you’ve helped me come to terms with a lot and you’ve also helped me put things into perspective :) Who cares if my dear mother doesn’t agree with my choices? I have friends who love me just the way I am and I’m beginning to love myself for the same reasons.

    Also that fact that you’re a dancer…a talented dancer…and award winning talented dancer….makes it all seem possible to me…I’d heard for too long that if I just wasn’t so heavy I could do it or other statements that I now know to be complete nonsense. I’ve always had an urge to move and to perform but was forced to shy away from it and even at times made to feel guilty for having those aspirations. Seeing you dance and reading your blog makes me realize that I’m the one holding the keys and no one else gets to drive me without my permission. I’m currently working on getting money to go back to school…and I think maybe, just maybe…I’ll have the courage to take on the Music/ Dance Performance major :)

    Thank you so much ^_^
    -Ash

    • Hi Ashley,

      I totally lucked out in the Mom department, I’m sorry that your mom didn’t support you properly. I’m so excited that you are finding your path to loving your body and making choices for you. Please keep me posted and if there is anything that I can do to support you just let me know :)

      ~Ragen

      • Well there is something…I just need to know if there is anything I can do in the meantime to prepare for dance classes? I can’t afford lessons right now, but is there anything else I can do?


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