You, dear girl, are an inspiration.
I saw you stomping through the shoe store, wearing heels that you walked in better than I can, despite the vast years of difference between us.
And in that funny way that happens in small towns, I ran into your mom (and you) at the mall later. You were playing with all the sparkly jewelry. I told your mom I recognized you both from the shoe store; she laughed and said you absolutely love shoes, and jewelry, and clothes, even at your young age.
Why should you dress on? I hope you do. I hope no one ever tells you that being a woman is an inferior thing. That someone “like you” shouldn’t dress the way you do. I hope that no one ever tells you being feminine is something to be eschewed. Something to reject. Because girl, you can rock it in heels and tennis shoes. You can rock it wearing jewelry or makeup, or none, or both. Because being a woman in the 21st century means you can do what you want, if it harm none. And it harms none to love clothes, and shiny pretty things.
I, too, love shiny, pretty things, and I have heard all of the above, and then some. I have been made to feel bad for being feminine, for loving fashion (because I’m a girl; because I’m a woman; because I’m a large woman; because I’m a feminist). The reasons are endless, but something isn’t: my joy at seeing your joy at the store this weekend, and your mother’s joy at seeing your joy, and mine.
Dress on, my dear. Dress and play on.