I can vividly remember watching TRL and MTV for hours, memorizing each move and word to Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time." Then putting on all the makeup and performing it just like she did, or so I thought. I would throw my hair up into those Baby Spice buns, add a pair of platform sandals and dance to "Wannabe" like I was an actual Spice Girl.
Now, imagine those performances shared with millions at the click of a little ten year-old finger. Set free into the world of social media. Except now that little girl is outfitted in booty shorts and crop tops hitting every hip thrust to "WAP" "Savage" and "Party Girl." Her Spice Girl buns have been traded in for full-out hair extensions, and she could easily pass for eighteen.
The innocence of dancing by herself in the mirror with her best friend (matching BFF necklaces from Claire's to prove it) has been replaced by obsessively learning the newest trendy TikTok dance so she can hit that share button. Then, the dreaded wait.
Will it be enough?
Will "they" like it?
Will I look cool enough?
Will it go viral?
Am I enough?
Let's teach our daughters that their worth is not measured in likes and shares.
Lets teach them that dancing in their rooms to music they like in clothes they like is enough.
Let's teach them they don't need the attention of the TikTok universe.
Let's teach our daughters they have permission to be themselves without the pressure of public approval.
Let's teach them they don't need the affirmation of all the "theys." Whoever "they" are.
Let's teach them that their aspirations are not limited to the glittery dream of viral fame.
Let's teach our daughters to delete the TikTok, crank up the Spotify and dance like no one is watching. Literally.
Alexa, volume up.