March 5, 2012

Queen Bees and Wanna Bees...




"Just Bee Me"


What speaks to my heart and soul?  Things do.  More specifically my Things #1, #2 and #3.   But for today, Thing #3 has the loudest voice.

What is it with us girls?  We are so hard on ourselves.  And it starts early.  Self-esteem, aka the "Wanna Bees".  You know what I mean,   "I wanna be more like the OTHER girls".  More talented, smarter, more popular, prettier, thinner, yada, yada, yada.  Just  who are these Queen Bees who set the never attainable standards and mine fields we must navigate in order to feel we measure up and belong?  Because it isn't like being a teen-aged girl isn't hard enough without all these bombs to avoid, yikes!

I admit I haven't always been the best role-model for my girls and have suffered right along with them when it comes to self-esteem.  Funny how my eye sight is 20/20 when it comes to my three Things...yet so blurry when it is focused on myself.  Selective vision, they really should make bi-focals for that.  I wish they could see what I see...smart, talented and beautiful girls (I am excluding my son from this discussion because he has never given a rip about what others think,  and would just assume squash any Queen Bee that dared cross  his path ).  SO smart that I am confident they will grow into their skin before their late 40's...which is  how long it took me to shed my own Wanna Bee tendencies and finally be comfortable with MOI.  Yet I have set backs.  The "Wanna Bee" feelings flit in when I least expect it.   When I hear high school friends reminiscing about things they did, places they went, boys they went out with, parties they were invited to back in the day...that I wasn't.  That is 35 years worth of perspective to help cushion the Wanna Bee feelings, yet they still creep in!  So I can easily imagine how the self-esteem can be crushed when the Queen Bee sting is as fresh as the cafeteria table that day at school.  Luckily those feelings don't happen much to me anymore, I realize how far I've come, what is truly important, and how lucky I've been in life.   I have the benefit of time and perspective that Thing #3 doesn't have yet to ease the sting.

Wanna Bees...definitely not a new phenomenon.  I'm sure if Eve had a clique of girls in the Garden of Eden, she'd wanna bee more like the others and covet their fashionable fig leaves in smaller sizes because they ate less apples.  But that doesn't make it any easier to navigate self-esteem issues just because your mom, or your mom's mom went thru the same STUFF.   However,  it certainly speaks to my heart and soul loudly and clearly, as it took moi a great deal of my own life to realize most Queen Bees are only royalty in their own minds.  I rule my own kingdom now.  I look forward to the day where I can abdicate my hard-earned title to my own girls.  But sooner, rather than later girls...okay?!?!? In the meantime...I BEE-lieve in you.


--Kathy




38 comments:

  1. well...if those are your eyes, i want them! ;-)

    superb!

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    1. not to mention the ringlets, too.... :-)

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    2. Well thank you, but those belong to my Thing #3 :)

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    3. Beautiful! Just Beautiful

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    4. Well said, Kathy. On every level.
      Hugs,
      Susan

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  2. Got to say that one of the benefits of getting older is not giving a damn what people think any more! Your daughter is so gorgeous, tell her Auntie Barbara from the UK said so :O))

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  3. I am thinking about coveting my neighbors smaller fig leaf these days. LOL... ;)

    What a thoughtful post you've written Kathy. I cannot relate to having daughter's as I have two sons, but I do remember well what is was like to be a girl and, that said, what it is like to be a full grown woman with the "wanna bees' still (for some reason I cannot explain) nibbling at my backside every now and then. Unnerving to say the least and irritating as well. So, that part is easy to relate to. But your daughter, Thing #3 is stunning. One day she will grow into her rightful self, just like we all do, and only occasionally feel the sting of the wanna bees. Phew! Thank goodness for that! Because that beehive can be real tricky to navigate sometimes!

    Angie
    xo

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  4. This is a beautiful post Kathy and a beautiful portrait. Love the crop. Your daughter is stunning.
    Wisdom. It is the off-set to aging. I don't know if it's a fair trade or not. I admire a young person who doesn't get caught in the wanna-bees....but the ones I know are mostly males, not females. I wonder if it's marketing, how women are seen in society, or it just is. I hope your young ladies will come to their wisdom sooner rather than later...(but of course not too soon).
    Glad I was able to make you chortle over jumping. you are a woman of not only wisdom, but a wonderful sense of humor. Nice to be able to give back.
    I double dog dare you to do a selfie portrait similar to this one of your daughter-9 months left for {in the picture}. Plenty of timne,. Happy day my friend.

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    1. At least you didn't break the code and jump right to the coup de' grace...the dreaded TRIPLE DOG DARE! :)

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  5. Such a beautiful portrait of your daughter Kathy, and wow I have so many thoughts on this, but I'm late to class (really late) but wanted to at least comment before I went. I will have to come back....

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  6. Fabulous photo! Beautiful girl...hair...eyes...skin. Beautiful photo.

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  7. Ack...so very true. And, it starts to very young...it breaks my heart to see my 5 year old "wanna bee", when she's already perfect exactly how she is. Such a gorgeous portrait of your daughter! I love the slight colour you left in her eye <3

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  8. Love this analogy, and it's so hard to just bee. I love your portrait too!

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  9. She is stunning. What a fabulous photo. Why, oh why can't they see their gifts? It's one of the hardest things about being a mom - standing on the sidelines, watching them struggle. But I keep reminding myself that even if I had superpowers and could smooth everything out for them, it wouldn't be a good thing. Those bumps help them learn how to cope with life in the long run. We can just be there ready with a hug when they need one. I wouldn't want to be a teenager again, that's for sure.

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  10. Kathy - you are a brilliant writer, if this was a column in a magazine, I would definitely read it and love it too!! Not to mention the photo, it is gorgeous and so creative! The idea went straight to my "copy-these-when-you-have-time" -file.
    And the wanna-bees... I know EXACTLY what you mean. My daughter is 6, and already she says things like "what if I don't grow up to be pretty"...?

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  11. Your daughter is beautiful...and wow, look at those eyes! What a powerful post you've written, and one every female can relate to. My daughter also struggled, and is finally finding her way (and fantastic friends) in college. High school was a battle for her, from start to finish. She found the drama, cliques, and "mean girl" mentality intolerable. I hope your daughter can hold on for the ride and believe that it WILL get better. And ultimately these painful times will bring wisdom. But it's so hard at that age to see the big picture, isn't it? As always, I love your words and your photos - thank you for sharing!

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  12. What a beautiful girl - let's hope she's got that confidence at the least, stored within herself and that she'll be able to call on it soon - those eyes say she does. Love the strength, for want of a better word, of her hair in this cleverly composed photo. Important and well written words too.

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  13. As a mother to 2 girls- this is certainly something I struggle with too. You would think we could all bond together- but the competition is always so fierce. I wish I knew why. I am happy my girls are shielded from it a bit- but I know they will have to endure it at some point. Teaching them the things I know now that I'm older & trying to be as good a role model as I can for them is what I try to focus on.

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  14. That was so beautifully written! I still struggle with this and see my younf 6 year old students struggle as well. It makes me fee better about myself so I can be a good example and tell them how special and important they are!

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  15. Great photography.

    Regards and best wishes

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  16. Oh my word...If this doesn't resinate with every single female....You have hit the nail on the head on every point taken. Powerful post today Kathy. And your daughter is gorgeous.

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  17. Beautiful post. I think we all know the wanna-bees and wage a lifetime battle against them.... i do hope your daughters read this, important words indeed. Gorgeous photo too : )

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  18. Love this photo and the processing! Also just wondering if you have applied yet for the NY times job..... Great post

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  19. What a beautiful post this is Kathy!
    Love this photograph too.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us today at The Creative Exchange.

    Have a wonderful evening!

    lisa.

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  20. I think I was lucky to be so involved with horses when younger, I never had time to be involved with wannabees. Now I'm too old to care.
    But I know my daughter has struggled with it all her life, despite constant re-assurance from us on how gorgeous, clever and talented she is. I can understand your struggle.

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  21. Beautiful photo and I love your post, thanks so much for sharing!

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  22. WOW. What a post.. I can totally relate. I struggled so much, I was definitely a wannabee.. So glad that time in my life is over.. Your photo is beautiful.. Your Daughter is beautiful..

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  23. Such a beautiful photo and gorgeous girl! It breaks your heart doesn't it, unfortunately it even seems to start in primary school. Just the other day a boy came over to my son and loudly exclaimed that he wasn't invited to his birthday party, just because! Beautiful post Kathy!

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  24. love the portrait, a great composition and I too agree with all you say

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  25. Fabulous post. Love that beautiful portrait. Agree with your words.....I took me til my 40s to get comfortable with me (and even then....). I worry about this for my girl too.

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  26. great images :). have a nice day...

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  27. Gorgeous photo and I feel the heart connection. I think we all have these feelings, and it takes us all a different length of time to get over them. For me it was late thirties/now early 40's. I wish it could have been less, but that is my journey. You are right, it doesn't help that someone else learned the lesson before, you have to learn it for yourself. Your daughters will too. And someday as they own their own beauty, they will say, "Mom was right." Thanks for linking to the Photo-Heart Connection this month.

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  28. beautiful! I love the composition!

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  29. This is gorgeous!

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  30. love the post! And such a beautiful photo...definitely a great motivator to impart such wisdom ;)

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  31. Beautiful image, and such a thoughtful post!

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