If you’ve been with us for any length of time, you know very well that awards shows have been an integral part of our past four years. Watching the red carpet while simultaneously scrolling Twitter, to pick favorite dresses, became an excuse for Mayhem to stay up past her bedtime. And honestly, it was fun for both of us.
But time passes, and in case it’s not glaringly obvious, Mayhem is growing up. Yes, she still loves fashion. And yes, she’s still crazy creative. But as she’s quick to explain – “I still like making paper dresses, I just don’t like wearing them anymore. You know, I’m kind of too old for that. And I like making other things too.” So it remains, we’ll never force her to make or wear a paper dress. I will, however, do everything in my power, to make sure she knows how much her creativity and imagination are valued.
We didn’t tune in to the Golden Globes red carpet this year, and we weren’t constantly refreshing Twitter for the latest dresses to have arrived. This year, Mayhem went to bed on time and without even the knowledge that an awards show was happening.
But an awards show was happening. And the air surrounding it was very different than awards shows past. It was the red carpet of my dreams, and I missed it. Do you have any idea how many times in the past several years I’ve said out loud, “Why can’t they all just wear black dresses?! Just once. We have an endless supply of black paper!” 😉
On the morning after the awards, I was careful about how I should approach the topic with Mayhem. I knew she’d be excited to see the dresses, but I also knew that it was my job to
tell teach her about why all those women chose to wear black. That the black dresses, while absolutely stunning, were not about the fashion. They were an action to spread a message about a movement.
Mayhem noticed almost immediately that all the women were wearing black, so I explained to her that they actually planned it that way. I shared with her that a group of women had gotten together and decided they needed to take a stand against girls and women not being treated fairly. When she asked how girls weren’t being treated fairly, I explained that in most professions, women make less money than men, for doing the exact same job. And that was a moment I wish I could have captured. Though, to be fair, her reaction is seared into my memory. The jaw drop, the furrowing of the brows, the utter disbelief.
Her verbal response though, was, “You’re kidding, right?”
I wish I was.
We went on to talk about how women are tired of being treated unfairly and paid less. For doing the same work. And we chatted about how girls are treated in general, like how often people call her ‘princess’. She hates being called a ‘princess’. I asked her what she wants people to think about her and she immediately replied with, “That I’m nice, and smart, and I’m creative, and that I’m a really good tennis player. And that I could definitely beat them in a staring contest!” (I’ve NEVER won against her!)
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And YES!
And then we talked about how many women that we don’t know, or see, or hear of, have already been working hard on these issues for years and years. But because these ladies in Hollywood have a platform, they are able to amplify the message and get it seen by more people. And that is how women can lift each other up. Doing what they can, with their own resources, to make things better for everyone else who isn’t being treated fairly.
Then, my girl said it. “You mean like our Instagram account?”
She thought for a minute before remembering the box of fabric and craft supplies my mom gifted her for Christmas. A stack of black patterned fabrics was waiting to be turned into something spectacular and now it had a destiny. Dresses for a couple of her dolls. Supporting the movement in a way we can. #TimesUp
There is so much more conversation ahead with this nice, smart, creative, awesome tennis playing, staring champion, but for now, that’s how we’ve tackled the Times Up movement. We haven’t dug into terms like ‘sexual harassment and abuse’ just yet, but we have talked about inappropriate behavior with respect to our bodies, and the conversation will only grow from here. We’ve also talked, at length, about how it’s not just women who are being treated unfairly, but many groups of people. We’ll continue to have discussions on what it means to be an ally, and how we can best use our resources to help others – be that time, money, or voice.
I have little doubt that massive change is on the horizon. And I’m encouraged by the women who have stepped forward, and risked so very much (both personally and professionally), to tip the scales. I hope they know that there is a generation of badass little ladies ready to take the reigns.