You’re fat, ugly and annoying.
Those are powerful words that can easily last a lifetime. And not just this, but these are words that get passed down through a long cycle of hurt–from decades of name calling that has become normalized as part of a girl growing up.
I decided to interview 9 year old Pascal to see what her take was on name calling.
Girls learn from an early age not to work together to feel empowered and boost each other to love themselves and be exactly who they are. They are encouraged to suffer through comparison, name calling and shame. Hurtful words are more than powerful. They are formulaic: The perfect combination creates eating disorders, massive self esteem issues and maybe even raises young women to seek abusive relationships.
But when we hold the weight of harmful words at an arms length and consider the source, we discover the power we have within ourselves to break the cycle. When we view cutting phrases generically and decide up front not to attach them to who we are–the deep and complex (however social) beings that we are, we can stop their effects from even breaking the surface of our soul. Because the source of such painful statements, comes from pain itself. It’s like a virus that is passed from girl to girl, boy to girl, girl to boy, man, woman, generation to generation. We have the power to say: No. This stops with me.
You are beautiful and unique and really fabulous, so says Pascal. Please take her word for it. She seems to know what she’s talking about.