Mean Girls, Not In My House

While the movie is truly hysterical to watch (Mean Girls 2004), the theme is all too real for girls today and yesterday for that matter.  We are always trying to remain fashionable, wear nothing larger than a size 5-6 and have the right friends.  It’s unfortunate, but the reality is that many girls, to make sure that they feel good about their situation, will find someone worse off than them and make sure they know it. My daughter is only 4 years old, but as I watch her play on the playground at the park I can already see the beginnings of cliques forming.  The adorable little boy with the glasses swings alone, the girl with un-brushed hair tries desperately to make it pretty with her little fingers and still none of the kids go near her.  It’s sad to watch them draw these lines for themselves at such a young age but it’s worse when their parents do it for them.

Several months ago during a Mommy’s night out, a friend shared a story of how another parent had rudely snapped at her in the school parking lot.  After hearing the story I was appalled.  What gave this woman the right to snap at my friend for a reason that was none of her business?  I wanted so badly to never speak to her during pickup or let my daughter anywhere near her child again.

The next couple of times I saw her I found myself being short and abrupt, and then I realized what I was doing.  I was behaving like a child!  “You’re mean to my friend so I’m going to be mean to you”… what kind of example was I setting?  It wasn’t until a birthday party several weeks later that I found out her mother had been battling the final stages of breast cancer while she was working over seas for extended periods of time.  In fact, her mother had passed away only 2 days before.  I pray I never find out how I would behave if faced with a similar situation.

We all do the best we can for our children and for now I refuse to let my 4-year choose all of her friends.  My mother used to tell me “I can see farther than you,” and she was right.  When she’s older, I hope that her exposure to people of different colors, sizes, religions and economic backgrounds will give her the wisdom to surround herself with diverse friends.  The last thing I want to raise is a Mean Girl.

SXSW. Austin, Texas. 2011

Austin, Texas Fashion: Unique, soulful, diverse, authentic, and comfortable. Land of no judgment. Pure expression. The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) is the annual spring convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Discovery dominates the weeklong celebration and fosters both creative and professional growth alike. To have the indie music and film lovers visiting our city for 10 days just exponentiates the heart and soul of Austin. The independent theme of self-expression is celebrated in many different forms that are as unique as the thousands of people who attended.

With high tech and the University of Texas, the entire world is represented here in Austin with people from all over the globe living, working, studying, playing, and yes… listening to music. Standing side by side a bohemian lovely in a long flowy skirt, t-shirt, Birkenstocks and dreads will be a woman in a power suit and heels. Each one feels like they belong. There’s no judgment. Well, I take that back, if there is judgment here in Austin, it’s because someone senses fake, imitation or a façade. Being comfortable in your own skin is what Austinites really care about. (Being comfortable practically is also high priority!) That vibe creates a film/music/technology festival that only Austin can birth.

This year’s SXSW was the best yet, with a new fashion event that celebrates the long-standing relationship between music and style. The theme was “Emerging Fashion from Around the World” and it was yet another avenue of discovery- what is on the frontier of fashion. Check out www.stylexaustin.com to taste the unique, soulful, diverse, authentic, and comfortable world of fashion on display here in Austin at Style X.