When my children walk into the bathroom and watch me going through the feminine rituals of shaving and makeup, I wonder if I’ve let them down. If my conforming to these cultural ideals makes me a cog in the wheel of less than and not enough.
Every time I suck in.
Every time I look for extra lift or pull or push.
Every time I pluck and wax and shave and color and lighten and darken and change.
Am I giving messages that I cannot take back? Am I saying that the one person, who is everything to them, is not actually enough?
My son still wanders naked through the house.
My daughter still says boob like it’s pointing out an ear or a nose.
But one day these will take on so much more meaning.
One day, my daughter will ask to shave her legs, and I will acquiesce.
One day, my son will ask for weights, and I will hand them over.
I will worry. Whenever they don’t eat enough. Whenever they eat too much. Whenever they look in the mirror and sigh the sigh that I know so well.
The sigh that screams: I’m not enough. I’m not enough. I’m not enough.
I don’t know how far I need to go to awaken that other voice inside them. The voice beyond the our sex and gender and culture.
The voice that whispers: Take a chance. Go and be radical. Go and be beautiful.
Go. And be yourself.