Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dainty is Overrated

I wasn't going to blog this week. I've a lot on my plate. But I was taking senior pictures for a niece, earlier today, and she said she wanted to look "dainty" in them. This isn't the first time I've heard her say something along those lines, and it bothers me because there's nothing wrong with her body. I hate that the media makes girls (and boys) think that bird bones are beautiful.

My niece isn't dainty. She's strong. Colleges have been trying to recruit her for their soccer and basketball teams for the last couple of years. She'll be honored as her class's top female athlete at an awards assembly in about a week. I've loved watching her play sports because in basketball I've seen even guys get out of her way.

That doesn't happen for girls with bird bones. They get pushed all over the court. I know because basketball and soccer are my favorite sports, and my wedding ring is a size four. So, when I see my niece comparing her body type to mine (and she does), it bothers me. I went through the same thing with roommates in college. Guess what? They're married to guys who adore them. Our bodies are all different, and those differences are more than okay. They're excellent.

Yes, that is a pomegranate tree.

She's beautiful the way she is, and I will miss her tons when she leaves for college.     


  1. Great photo shoot! And I wholeheartedly agree with every word you said.


  2. Thanks, Sue! I took like a hundred pictures, and I've narrowed it down to 68.

  3. Absolutely! I've never been petite or dainty (and never will be) and, although it's taken time, I've learned to love that and not to expect to be anything else.

  4. I have a waist and no-nonsense hips, and I like it that way. Though photographs are always hard for me.

  5. Oh, so true! I wish our society would learn to admire healthy bodies. At least we're not cramming ourselves into corsets anymore. That's a slight improvement. Though it seems like we get rid of one unhealthy beauty ideology, only to replace it with something else.

    Great post, Myrna!

  6. Ahh, I completely agree. I have a sister in law that will never be tiny because of her bone structure and it hurts my heart because it rips at her self esteem. But even as I write this I wish I would drop ten more pounds. It's weird how society plays us. I need to just love the skin I have.

  7. Oh, WOW! I love the last one especially. She's beautiful and you are a great photographer.

  8. So true, Myrna. And I didn't realize you were a photographer! Those pictures turned out great. I especially liked the one with the pomegranate tree:)

  9. Loved this post! I adore your neice and love everything that makes her who she is. Stop trying to fit into this mold, because I hope that when my daughter grows up she will be like her! Strong, independent, speaks her mind and sticks with her values, love her and you! Pictures were great!

  10. Those pictures turned out great. She is a wonderful person, I'm glad to know her. :)

  11. Thanks, everyone, for your comments!

    Q, I think that she mostly has a hard time with having her picture taken.

    Amy, I agree. There are different ways to be healthy, and having one imposed on everyone doesn't work.

    Krista, I'm not a photographer. They have nice cameras. But I did take photography in high school and photojournalism at BYU. But thank you.

    Brooke, I know what you mean. Thanks for your honest reaction.

    Maile, I'm with you there. Neither of our daughters are going to be dainty, but (so far) they're both strong and independent.

  12. I saw this post last week but didn't have time to comment--

    1. You took some beautiful pictures
    2. Your niece is gorgeous
    3. I really appreciate this post. It's nice to be reminded that the bird-bone definition of beauty is arbitrary and silly, which is hard to remember sometimes because it is EVERYWHERE. (Yes, I needed to use capital letters there.)

  13. Thanks, Sarah. I needed to write this post. It made me realize that too many of my female characters are built like I am, and while it's right in some instances, it's wrong in others. I have some revising to do.