The other day I mentioned that I’ve been reading Ramona and her Mother. Last night I was close to finishing, and in the final chapter Mrs. Quimby mentions to her daughter that Mr. Quimby is going to be starting school at Portland State. The school that rejected me! For some reason this made me feel a little bit of something, I’m not sure what.
Continuing the tradition of being a 2nd grade girl, I have these bottles of American Girl shampoo and conditioner (a gift!) and besides smelling incredible, they also offer young girls bits of advice on the back label, advice regarding “real beauty.” Most likely these are meant to be inspirational, if not empowering, but it occurred to me during a recent shower just how far off the mark they actually are. For example, on the back of the shampoo bottle reads, “Real beauty is thinking before you speak.” What? Shouldn’t that say, “Real beauty is speaking your mind”? Or “Real beauty is speaking the truth”? Or something that doesn’t sound like a 17th century chauvinist wrote it? Sure, there is something to be said about prudent speech, but there is also something very unnatural about prudent, well-spoken girls. Girls are supposed to express themselves! Or maybe that’s what the American Girl people where trying to say with “Real beauty is wearing your favorite color.” Girls, look nice and don’t talk. That’s the real message of American Girl. Ramona would not approve.