“I’m through pretending I don’t like Justin Bieber,” my nine-year-old announces from the backseat of the car the other day on the way to school. “I think he’s cute and has good songs.”
“Why were you pretending not to like him?” I ask, thankful that I’m driving and she can’t see the huge smirk on my face.
The answer: Her older sister had made her think that liking him was uncool. So, as not to be embarrassed in front of her sister and her sister’s friends, she hid her Bieber love. But now, she was obviously ready to come clean, even at the possible risk of being made fun of by her sister.
This moment made me think about how many things we hide as adults. I’m not talking about important things like your religious affiliation or political inclinations, but small things that we think others might use to judge us. For example, with women it’s often what we eat.
“You eat bread?” I’ve had someone ask me before.
Yes, I eat bread. I even eat candy sometimes, and horror of all horrors, I even occasionally eat bacon.
At a very young age, we are socialized to hide things or pretend we like or don’t like things in order to fit in.
Sometimes, these things are harmless. Other times, they redefine who we are in a way that is disingenuous. What I loved about my daughter’s statement this week was that she had realized in this instance that it is important to be yourself and be honest about who you are no matter what others may think.
“So, Mom, I want him for Christmas,” my daughter says.
“What do you mean?” I ask thinking maybe she falsely believes I have enough pull to get Justin Bieber to come and do a private concert for her.
“The doll, Mommy, I want the Justin Bieber doll,” she replies to my great relief. It is something I know I can deliver on. “I want that and a pet pig,” she adds.
OK, now that’s something I really need to think about …
Amanda Lamb is a mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.