Serena J. Cavanaugh :: Blog

April 28, 2009

How Lovely To Be A Woman!

Filed under: Beauty, Cultural Rants, Parenting — Tags: , , , , — serena @ 2:26 pm

Two things happened this past month that made me re-think being a woman.

 One, I watched the local grammar school performance of Bye Bye Birdie.

In one song the main character, 16 year old Kim, sings “How lovely to be a Woman,” in which she glories in her burgeoning figure, the privileges of mascara and high heels and all the perceived goodies of her passage into womanhood.

It ain’t lovely, I thought. Not one bit. You’ll get tired of the constant adjustments women have to make to their ever changing priorities and their ever changing bodies.  I thought of all the transformations, from the stretch marks to the fine lines, from career woman to at-home mom. It’s insane and unfair and nothing to glorify.  

Then, the second thing happened: I purchased my daughter her first bra — a tiny slip of a thing that’s more an undershirt than a bra. I watched my tomboy transform into a woman-to-be. She pranced around in my high heels, brushed her tangled hair all of her own volition and said, “I can’t wait until I am as tall as you, Mom. I’m almost a woman. Don’t my legs look nice in heels? Let’s paint are toenails.”

Then, of course, something inside me changed, adjusted, settled. Just like a woman, but it was a good thing — just like a woman. 

I want to always say, “How lovely to be a woman…” as I face the changes of my body and my life, if only to show my daughter how to welcome each passage with the same kind of passion and joy she is welcoming her first bra and all its promises of womanhood.

What I am Reading:

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

by Michael Swanwick

The Iron Dragon’s Daughter

Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind by Heidi Ashworth


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