Friday, May 21, 2010

Hiding Away

Lately my daughter has been coming home with news that she is being teased.  The tease is about her feet.   Apparently they are too small.  To me, this is a pretty laughable insult, along the lines of 'your hair is too shiny' or 'your eyelashes are too long' but it affects her.  It is a point of difference between her and her little friends.  Who knows why little girls do this.  I know it is worse in single sex schools.   And I know that generally little boys aren't bitchy. 

I cannot make my daughter feel better.    She doesn't believe me when I say that the size of your feet is just one of those things you cannot change, and it is a waste of time and energy to worry about it.  

Everyone has to endure some teasing at school. It is a rite of passage, although it shouldn't be.   I keep telling my children that they must never make personal comments about people's appearance.   But when others all around you do this, it must be hard not to retaliate.  

When I was teased at school (about my name, my fair skin, whatever) I wanted to curl up in a little ball, in my own separate magical home.   So here they are for my daughter, some magical places to hide: 

(Little willow folly, by artist Patrick O'Donoghue, found here



(a walnut shell carried by a sperm whale, by Johanna Wright


(A hay bale cottage, by Ludwig Design



(mice over Paris, Johanna Wright as above) 


(a beaver house by artist Mark Ragonese see here



(A grown up treehouse by Blue Forest


(as above) 



This weekend we are going to rug up in front of the fire as I hope it will be cold, and I will make a start on sanding back my horribly painted cedar bench.   And read as much as I can.  And, I am a bit ashamed to say, probably watch Avatar (it's not me, my husband wants to watch it). 


Have a lovely weekend. xoxo

28 comments:

Amanda said...

You just want to protect them from all that don't you Jane. It definitely is a girl thing to be bitchy and I hate to think what my girls have yet to encounter. Like you I teach them not to get into it but it's hard not to retaliate for them sometimes!! For what it's worth - I have small feet and it's fabulous. You get the best shoes on sale because they don't fit anyone else.

Anja021netteC_021Restrepo1 said...

心中有愛,才會人見人愛。.............................................

Tina said...

Oh Jane, your poor little blossom:( I know that it seems to be just a fact of life that girls can be horrible, but I strongly believe that it should not be so...I hope your sweet girl (and her small feet)enjoys her weekend, sheltered in the best place of all - her home with her Mum's love. Wishing you a wonderful weekend in front of your fire Jane, we will more than likely be doing the same:) ~ Tina xx

Angie said...

I have 2 daughters and would never encourage that they bully or hope that they will bully other girls.

But instead of trying to tell your daughter about how normal her feet are, how about telling her how lucky she is to have small feet and then give her a mini class on feet. I don't know how old your daughter is but I would maybe find some documentation about chinese feet binding, because they believed that small feet made woman more beautiful and dainty.

Not that you want your daughter to feel anything but comfortable about her body, but maybe a show at how feet and luckily her little feet is something other women envy.

Engracia said...

I completely understand what your daughter is going through. I had the exact experience, my feet a re quite small (sometimes I buy childrens shoes to find something I can wear. It is a fact I couldn't change but girls really can be nasty, hopefully your cuddles can ease some of the hurt.
Happy weekend Jane.
Engracia
xx

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

How awful that they are teasing her. It really is so small and petty but I know, not to her, the poor thing...

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Oh Jane I feel for your little one
I think teasing is worse these days than when we were at school.... Ange's idea about 'feet education' is a good one.. although binding feet makes my blood run cold..

I totally agree with you that it is a laughable insult .. haha poor kid! You know I had the reverse problem.. BIG FEET..!! I'm not terribly tall but had adult size 8 even at 12... and then all through my teens and 20's hated buying dainty shoes in clown sizes... hahaha.. but.. was pretty good at track and field.. and i credit that to the whoppers!!! always an upside for every downside...

So I just love this work by Johanna Wright!! fantastic.. they are all fabulous but hers just has that something... Have a lovely weekend... and remind your little one how pleased she will be when she grows up and buys 'dainty shoes'... xxx Julie

brismod said...

Sticks and stones - perhaps your daughter should use them against her friends. No, that is not a terribly helpful comment. Give her a pedicure and read her Cinderella. Her big footed friends probably need to read it too. Enjoy your weekend. x

Debra said...

I so dislike this about girls/women- we should all learn at a young age to be one anothers support. Little girls can be so snarky. Doesn't it make you want to curl up with your sweetheart and protect? I've always thought~ mess with ME but leave my chicks alone.

mise said...

Poor girl - that's such a big deal when you're little, and such meanness is so cruel. Maybe you could get her a pair of absolutely lovely princess shoes so that she can be proud of her feet? I still remember being laughed at in school because I didn't speak English, and because my mother knitted my dress. I'd have headed straight for one of those lovely hidey-holes.

Jacqueline said...

Dear Jane,
I have to say that, we have a boy and a girl and, the boys were never teasers really....it's the girls that were the bitchy ones. When our daughter had a new pair of shoes, as soon as we walked in the school gates, all of the girls would stare at the new shoes. I think the best advice is to ignore them. They just want a reaction and when they don't get one, they often stop.
I love all of these magical 'getaways'[. I wouldn't mind getting away to some of them myself !! A ride in that walnut would make my day.
Sorry if I missed a couple of your posts. I am finding it difficult to catch up with my comments after my computer was out of action.
Enjoy the weekend and I hope you sort out the feet teasing. XXXX

Pinecone Camp said...

Hmm. Too small feet. That's a new one. Kids can be little bums sometimes.
I love all these magical hiding spots. I, personally, would like to be lifted away in that walnut shell by the sperm whale. Very sweet post. you're a nice mom.
Have a lovely weekend.

Emma said...

What a gorgeous post, the hiding places are wonderful! But do tell her not to hide away, I bet those girls have great big clown feet anyway! Small feet = dainty. In China it was a sign of beauty, they used to bind them to keep them small! Big feet may mean you'll grow up tall, but smaller feet are neater. (I think). She won't tread on boys feet when she gets to dancing and I bet she can run just fine, far away from bullies! Paint her toe nails & celebrate that she will look pretty in summer sandals with teeny tiny lovely feet & tootsies! x

Jenny Schouten Short said...

What a charming blog. Your daughter will survive, my four did. Children are jealous of each other and sounds like they are of your gal.

Simone said...

Ugh, those comments....just horrible isn't it. When my daughter first started school, a girl in her class told her she was "too tall" to join in the games.....I was so cross and upset (in private of course!). My daughter has always been the tallest in her class and actually since then there haven't been any comments that I am aware of. I just dread these personal comments though.....I was never teased but I know that you can tell a child 100 wonderful things but sometimes it is the one horrible comment that will stick. It is hard with girls no doubt about it. I focus and work on my daughter's self-esteem ALL the time.

I love the images you have shown in this post...they're beautiful.

Thanks for the lovely comment on my blog this week, if you want to sponsor my Breast Cancer run that would be fabulous, so many people have been so supportive already.

Have a lovely week-end :)

jules @ The Diversion Project said...

oh you just want to do anything don't you to make it better for them. i find that kind of stuff so hard to deal with. gorgeous collection of lovely places to hide out, that willow folly is spectacular. hope the weekend is nice and cold and the fire is warm!

Shelley J said...

I've taught my children to say 1 sentence which seems to fit any situation and we practice it over and over... "yes, you said that before, can't you think of anything new to say". It enables the child to stand up for themselves in a non threatening manner and stops them being seen as an easy target. Try it. Just one sentence. Works for them and I think they have only used it twice each. Good luck!!

Karena said...

I like Shelley's idea. It is the idea that you are being singled out, talked about, etc, and I remember vividly how much it hurt!
Hugs to your baby!

Karena
Art by Karena

Jg. for FatScribe said...

yeah, seeing your little ones teased is a stressful thing to be sure (especially if they're really taking it to heart, and want to be accepted and befriended). great hide-aways that you shared with us, and I'm sorry you have to watch that that indoctrination film by J. Cameron. (though it is a solid yarn). ;)

Emma said...

Oh your poor daughter, I know how she feels! I boarded at school which was mostly fun but I can still remember the teasing and how horrible some girls could be. I too was teased about my feet but because they were bony and apparently looked like they "should be nailed to the cross". This went on for 5 years and was even brought up at our 10 year reunion. Now I shrug it off but at the time I was devastated and it took me until I was 25 (and met my husband who gave me the confidence) to wear sandals/open shoes. Shelley's advice is marvellous and I will be quoting her at my 20 year reunion this year!

Lee said...

Oh Jane, what a strong mother & daughter team you are! Plenty of useful advice given above, which I won't add to, other than to say - plenty of hugs & kisses and letting your little one know how much she is loved never goes astray. All the best, Lee xx

Pat said...

Your daughter is so fortunate - she has fairy feet, angel's tootsies, she'll tread lightly on this earth, soft, gentle and she'll almost never squish an ant!
Best of all, she has a terrific mum - one who understands the specialness of little feet and those of us blessed to have them.

Laura [What I Like] said...

Thinking back on my school days, it's somewhat of a miracle that we all make it out alive and relatively unscathed! I shudder to think of the cruelty on the playground at times...but this too shall pass, no?

FROM THE RIGHT BANK said...

I have the smallest feet in the world so tell her from me that when she gets older and she starts wearing all those fabulous shoes, they always, always look better in smaller sizes. The shoe salesmen always tell me how great everything looks in my size than in boats/clown shoe sizes!

Lucy said...

I would take this as a huge compliment, if they couldn't find anything else to tease me about but the size of my feet then I must be pretty perfect! I am sure that having a loving family is the support your daughter needs to keep her confidence high. I have never heard foot size as a topic for teasing before, since it is not seen as a huge determiner of attractiveness. And if it were, it is usually little feet that are seen as attractive. My friend is in her thirties and still buys some shoes in children's sizes, she has always been gorgeous and admired for her petite looks by women and men! I would just say outright to these girls that I am perfectly happy with my foot size, in fact I like it, and so I'm not likely to be distressed by anything they say, and I hope for their sake they find something more interesting to think or talk about soon! Normally if people realize that the person being teased is self confident and isn't going to be bothered, they move on as that takes the point out of it for them.

Siobhan Curran said...

I've had size 5 (EU35) feet since before I can rememeber. People with little feet have big hearts and are super smart.

Ange said...

Oh Jane I was teased at school too. What I want to know is - I've just heard all those other women say they teach their daughters differently. Who are the women that DON'T? I want to meet THEM and find out why then point out the harm this does.

Why IS it girls that do this?? I'm with Deb - we need to encourage our girls to look after each other. Good luck

PS - I loved Avatar

Jane said...

Wow - who knew there were so many small footed ladies out there? With the exception of the Japanese Spam Lady (Anja 021) I have loved all of your advice. So much wisdom! I will be taking it and teaching my daughter some of these pearls xoxo

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