Do you like you? ‘Try’

One of the biggest fears I have for my kids is around surviving their school-aged years. Being a girl is hard and there are so many pressures put on us by society and celebrity and media and, more importantly, each other.

I remember the pressure I put on myself to look a certain way. I was hard on myself. I didn’t have clear skin, or perfect hair. I was never that skinny girl; I was the girl with the big boobs. Period. Nobody saw anything else but that. Not the girls, certainly not the boys and sometimes not even the teachers.

That was my label.

I think I still spend days trying to shake it off.

I have irrational fears about what my girls will be labeled with. How it will affect them and how it will stay with them long after high school is over. And they are only three and six years old.

I try to instill in them that they should be kind to everyone. That somebody’s looks, ability and skin colour don’t matter. It’s what’s inside that counts the most. And I firmly believe that.

Aside from a label I do my best to forget about, I am a confident person. I like me. I like who I have become. And while I don’t think I’m perfect, I think I’m good where I am in my life. I am not afraid to speak my mind, swim against the stream and stand for what I believe in. I believe that my hard work and determination speaks for itself.

But I watch as my girls are exposed to more influence. The media, magazines and music videos all show perfection. Or rather, what is considered perfection? It is hard to escape it. I wonder if it’s affecting their image of what and how girls should look?

Yes, I can make my kids live in a bubble; not allowing them to watch TV, or YouTube videos, hiding my magazines so they can’t look through them, but that’s not realistic. They need to start learning what is real and what isn’t. That girls really don’t look like that.

“Is that real, mommy?”

That is a question I get all the time, because I constantly tell them that the girl in the video isn’t real, or the one on television doesn’t look like that in real life. They have people who help them with their hair and make-up. People who pick out their clothes and that everyday people don’t look like that. Perfection isn’t reality. And I don’t want my kids striving for the impossible. At least not one that revolves around their looks.

The other day I saw this video online that I had to share.

Colbie Caillat’s Try is a song with beautiful message. The video, which she made as a response to being airbrushed, is equally great. It puts forth the question of what beauty really is as each woman takes off her makeup to reveal her true self. The lyrics are poignant and raw and it left me feeling positive.

This is a simple, optimistic affirmation that true beauty isn’t dependent upon hair extensions, fake eyelashes and make up. It is a message that supports true happiness, self-worth and a positive self-image. Something I hope both my little girls grow up having.

I know that I’ve stopped including the lyrics on my Music Monday posts, but these need to be read. I also know it’s not Monday, but this is worth sharing. And this is one video I will be playing for my kids over and over again.

 

Try

By: Colbie Caillat

 

Oooh
Oooh

Put your make up on
Get your nails done
Curl your hair
Run the extra mile
Keep it slim so they like you, do they like you?

Get your sexy on
Don’t be shy, girl
Take it off
This is what you want, to belong, so they like you
Do you like you?

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing

You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try
Yooou don’t have to try

Oooh
Oooh

Get your shopping on, at the mall, max your credit cards
You don’t have to choose, buy it all, so they like you
Do they like you?

Wait a second,
Why should you care, what they think of you
When you’re all alone, by yourself, do you like you?
Do you like you?

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to bend until you break
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing

You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try

You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try
Yooou don’t have to try

Noooo
Oooh

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing

You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try, try, try, try
You don’t have to try
You don’t have to try

Take your make up off
Let your hair down
Take a breath
Look into the mirror, at yourself
Don’t you like you?
Cause I like you

 

Videos, countdowns, friends and Hideaways

Music is always playing in the car, whether we are on the way to the grocery store or on a longer drive. Usually it’s some sort of kid’s pop CD. You know the kind; little kids singing top 40 tracks. For the most part, I honestly don’t mind. At least we’ve moved on from the Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald songs my husband and I have endured for years.

But lately, they seem interested in listening to the radio. Hoping one of the songs they like, such as something from One Republic, Katy Perry, Iggy Azalea and most recently Ariana Grande, will come on.

This love of current music also has to do with the videos for these songs. The Little Bird is always asking to watch the video for whatever song she likes and will ask me to look it up on the iPad or computer. Her cousin also does the same thing on his tablet, as they all hover around to watch.

So last week, after the Little Mouse fell asleep on the couch, I thought I’d let the Little Bird stay up and watch a video countdown on TV. She was glued to the screen.

If I remember correctly, the top six is what she loved the most;

  1. Kiesza – Hideaway

  2. Ed Sheeran – Sing

  3. Katy Perry – Birthday

  4. Iggy Azalea – Fancy feat. Charlie XCX

  5. Calvin Harris – Summer

  6. Sam Smith – Stay With Me

 

Also in the top 10 was her new favourite, as mentioned above, Problem by Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea. She asks me to find it on the radio the moment she’s in my car every morning, “Mommy, can you please find Ariana?”

You know, because they’re on a first name basis!

I can hear her singing different songs, humming others she doesn’t know the words to and instantly recognizes them in waiting rooms, grocery stores and from somebody else’s car window. Her love of the hits of this summer, have turned into mine too. I kind of have no choice, seeing as I flip channels in the car until I can find one she knows and loves.

Aside from her buddy Ariana, she loves the song and accompanying video for Kiesza’s Hideaway. It was number six on the countdown.

“Six. Like me,” the Little Bird says.

Kiesza is Canadian artist, originally from Calgary. She was a code breaker and sniper for the Royal Canadian Navy. A singer, songwriter and ballerina, the 25 year old had broken a rib just before shooting the video for Hideaway. What is interesting about the video is it is a one-take shot of her dancing her way through the streets of New York

And the Little Bird loves it. She loves how she dances, the backup dancers and their outfits.

This debut song has a great vibe, fresh beat and catchy bassline and I can’t wait to see what her next hit will be.

Happy Monday!

 

 

Give me Everything

It’s a rainy and bleak day here in Ontario today. The humidity is wreaking havoc on my hair and while it’s hot, it doesn’t feel like summer.

So I thought I’d pick a happy song, one with a good beat that gets me moving everytime! I need a distractration from the down pour that is happening outside.

Happy Monday!

 

Happy Birthday Canada!

 

Happy 147th Birthday Canada!

I am proud to be Canadian. I am proud that my children are Canadian.

I am happy to live in a country with gun control and health care. We have a Tim Horton’s on every corner, and yet if asked, people hesitate when asked who the Prime Minister is.

We gave the world Wayne Gretzky, Linda Evangelista and Jim Carrey. We also gave the world Degrassi (Junior High), Winnie-the-Pooh, maple syrup, poutine, the Blackberry and the zipper! Yet we didn’t officially get our own flag until 1965, almost 100 years after becoming a country.

By the numbers:

  • 2 official languages; English and French
  • 2nd largest country in the world, after Russia
  • 11 points on the maple leaf on the Canadian flag
  • 10 provinces
  • 3 territories
  • 6 time zones
  • -40°C temperature in some parts during winter!
  • $1.00 cost of a single stamp in Canada

 

We have a reputation for being polite (sorry, it’s true!), helpful and friendly! We have a Loonie and Toonie as currency, our Capital is Ottawa, Ontario. Our National icon is a beaver, National sports are hockey and lacrosse and the most successful Canadian film ever made was not Justin Bieber’s Believe, but Porky’s.

So pull up your chair, enjoy the fireworks tonight and Happy Canada Day, eh!

Endless Richie

It all started last weekend. I was trying to decide if I was going to go to bed early or not, when I saw that Lionel Richie was going to be on Oprah’s Master Class. I decided to stay up and watch it.

From the time I was a little girl, I loved Lionel Richie. My mom played a lot of music and the Commodores was among that music. When I was 8, he released his solo album and that played on regular rotation. I think it’s safe to say that 1983’s Can’t Slow Down was my favourite, and I have memories of dancing to All Night Long (All Night) with my mother around the living room. This continued until 1986 when he released Dancing on the Ceiling. I remember the video and I remember all my friends liked to dance to that song.

Combine Richie’s music with my mother’s love of Kenny Rogers and Diana Ross, and I will let you guess how often she played Lady and Endless Love. I even picked the latter as my wedding song. And even though I was eight years old, I held that pick for many years, until eventually changing my mind. I still love that song, though.

Even though he took a break in his career for a while, by the time he released an album again in the late 90’s, I was sort of busy loving dance music. But I did buy The Definitive Collection and it has been within close reach ever since.

So here I was, watching Richie on Master Class and a commercial comes on announcing that he’s touring again!

What!?!

I was just thinking that I’d love to see him in concert. I know every word to every song! And I still love it all. (I bought tickets the next day! And I’m taking my mom, of course)

As if there couldn’t be any more signs, last night I read that he was being honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award, so I tuned in to watch. While BET spelled his name wrong, he was amazing. They paid tribute to him by highlighting his career and his music. John Legend sang Hello and Still, Yolanda Adams performed Brick House and Ledisi took everyone’s breath away, including Richie’s, when she belted out Jesus is Love.

Richie accepted his award and then took to the stage, singing Easy and All Night Long. He was amazing. And I knew that I had a hard task of choosing a song for today’s Music Monday. So after much consideration, I decided, I HAD to go with Endless Love. I chose the version from the album Tuskegee, featuring Shania Twain.

Enjoy, and happy Monday!