Gender Roles are Alive and Well

Tonight it became very apparent to me that some things are just not taught. It was bed time. I was tucking in Melia, and she wanted to read a book. She asked me if I would go get “the book with that pair of boots in it that I like”.

I had no idea what book she was talking about so she hopped out of bed to get it. It was one of those picture books for toddlers. The pages are full of photos with the corresponding words displayed underneath. We had to flip right to the page with clothing.

There was a little girl wearing a long pink sundress. “I really want this dress, mom! Can you buy it for me?” A pair of boots. “I love those boots. Can we get those?”

I really don’t know where she developed her diva, fashionista ways. This is the girl that wears her cowgirl boots with a dress almost every day! She is obsessed with princesses and playing dress up. There was even a day where she criticized what I was wearing. Whatever it was, it was not acceptable to wear outside the house. She is 3!!

This love of shopping, clothes, and shoes…it didn’t come from me! I wear the same 2 pair of shoes all the time. My clothes, I like them to be trendy and look/fit well. However, I’m not the type to spend the day at the mall and constantly add to my wardrobe. My love for shopping is more focused on home decor and projects.

When we enter a store that has a shoe section, she is in love! Her butt hits the floor, shoes come off, and she proceeds to try on every shoe she can squeeze her little foot into. When she finds a pair that fit, she dances and runs around admiring them before moving on to the next. So not me!

This behavior she exhibits, it entertains me. It baffles me. At times, it frustrates me (try getting her to keep her own shoes on and keep walking). Ultimately it makes me realize that gender roles or gender specific behavior like this is deeply ingrained. There is no teaching it.

While I don’t always understand it, I do my best to try. It’s something I love about her. It makes her, her.

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