i look 12. i know.
and my sister does, too. 
people always think that we are children.
just this morning, my little sister was asked if she was 12 or under. she's 21, a college grad, has a full time job.
last year, we went to breakfast and were stopped by truancy officers trying to see if we were playing hooky from high school. i had already graduated from college and had started working with high schoolers at this point!

for the longest, i thought it was because of the way i wore my hair, which for a while was just a basic trim with no highlights or anything like that. then, i thought it was because i like to shop at forever 21 and wear things like stripes or the color teal, which might be associated with high school girls, i guess. i also thought it was because i have a very round "baby face" and it just makes me look younger.

but as i continue to get older, i'm starting to realize that it has very little to do with the way that i look or dress. it has a lot to do with:

girls dressing like grown ups.
for the people who think that i am child, i have to get them. to be fair, everyday, we all see 12 year olds who dress like 21 year olds. little girls don't dress like little girls anymore.

we have entire televisions series designed to romanticize lives of little girls who haven't even hit puberty yet wearing more makeup, hair extensions, and suggestive outfits than i would ever know.

and it's not just on television. a trip to the mall will reveal hundreds of girls dressed in clothing targeted towards late high school and college students (such a forever 21, charlotte russe), they're wearing make up, artificial nails, high heels...
i am not here to judge anyone, but i think it's something that needs to be discussed. little girls deserve the right to be little girls.

i remember when i was sixteen and my mom took me to the mall to get makeup for the first time. i remember the associates being so shocked that i was sixteen years old, already had a part-time job, about to start college, and i was just now getting makeup and highlights in my hair.
while i may not have been the coolest kid on the block, i am so thankful that my parents allowed me to preserve my youth. i am so thankful that i got to be an innocent child who didn't have to be bothered with the complex image issues women face. it's because of that preserved youth that i am confident in who i am today.
this is why i try to make it a point to be in the lives of little kids because honesty, it isn't their fault. i encourage you to to do the same. spend time with your daughters, nieces, cousins, daughters of friends...let them know that God made them beautiful just the way they are. tell them over and over and over again. 

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
Psalms 139:1
i'm curious, have you experienced this at all?

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