Being a Girl

In: Science

Submitted By poptherock
Words 2274
Pages 10
Being Girl: A Sociological Memoir

My first memory of kindergarten was this: dozens of tiny, petrified 5-year-olds being dropped off at their first day of school, and dozens of exhausted, overworked mothers consoling their weeping sons and daughters. I remember it vividly because, despite the terror and chaos, a single thought pervaded my mind, the thought that “these moms are not as pretty as my mom.” I wasn’t entirely biased, either. By North American standards of beauty, I was correct. Here was my mother, a rail-thin, blonde-haired, blue-eyed statuesque stunner, among a sea of frumpy women with visible wrinkles and tangles of black hair. And here I was, the daughter of this perfect specimen, the proud owner of a mother who was more “feminine”, more “womanly”, and therefore, I naively deduced, “a better mother”. In fact, although my vocabulary was fairly limited at the time, I believed her to be the epitome of all mothers. She looked, I told her that morning, “like a mom was supposed to look.” In interviewing my mother, she said that this was my “first brush with what it meant to be a girl.” Throughout kindergarten, I was labeled “weird”. I dug for worms, collected Pokémon cards (which was deemed a “boyish” activity), and none of my friends were girls. My teacher, a young woman who had just recently graduated from university, was often concerned for me, and thought that my lack of female friends would be detrimental to my developing of social skills, so she would often encourage the popular girls in the class to include me in their recess activities. They did as they were told, and despite my hesitation, I jumped rope with them at recess, while still managing to play with the boys for short periods of time. Finally, one day, the girls gave me an ultimatum: “us” or “them”. If I wanted to be an “official” member of their “club”…...

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