Thursday, August 20, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Jenn: Stereotypes

I did it. I did something I thought I would never do. I signed Lu up for Cheerleading. I am not a cheerleader type. I did cheer in 6th grade for the CYO basketball team but it wasn't for me. I wanted to be the one being cheered for not cheering someone else. I was an athlete growing up - I was on the swim team from age 4 until college. I pitched for the Varsity Softball team in High school. I played Volleyball. I danced. I was hoping Lu would be my athlete.

When Mae was in kindergarten, she came home with the flyer and asked to be a cheerleader. I distracted her from the subject and left it at that. She asked a few more times but I always said no. I didn't want to spend my Sundays at the football field. I didn't want her to be a cheerleader with all the stereotypes it brings with it. I honestly felt she was too young and have always told her to wait until Middle School and if she still wanted to cheer then so be it.

Lu asked and asked and asked. I blew it off... but then she really started to pester me this summer. A group of her friends are cheerleaders and please can't she be one too? I caved and signed her up because deep down inside, I know she is the perfect cheerleader type. Outgoing, bubbly, girly, loud...she some how fits the mold better than her sister. Her sister is the classical ballerina, she is the cheerleader.

The first practice was Tuesday and Lu was in her glory. She woke up yesterday morning and told me guess what? Tomorrow is cheerleading practice! She has been practicing and cheering and doing her moves. It is a perfect fit. She also knows many of the boys who play football - so she will be cheering for her friends.

I hate that I stereotype my own children - or that my expectations for one are so different than for the other. As moms, we need to be a positive role model. We need to let our children be who they are. We need to learn what their individual needs are and give them the tools to fulfill them. If being a cheerleader is Lu's life goal right now - than so be it. I will be at every game on Sunday cheering for her as she cheers for the boys.

Now I am going to weigh in on the First Lady debate. I think that her shorts were a bad call on her part. As First Lady of the United States, you are on the job 24/7 - there is no vacation - and I am sure she would never show up in the courtroom dressed in those shorts, then she shouldn't show up anywhere else in them either. She signed on to be First Lady. It is a full time job and there is a dress code. The problem we face as Americans is that everything has become too casual. Manners are going out the window. People don't dress up anymore. As superficial as it may be - dress for success is a real issue. I dress to go to my children's school or to get on an airplane or to go shopping. I know that if I am "dressed up" I get more respect and quicker service. I am not saying Mrs. Obama can't wear shorts - but she needs to go the extra mile and find a dressy walking short ... that is just my two cents.

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