My mom is my role model; the person whose behavior and example I want to follow.
Not because we would spend quality time baking cupcakes together, not because she was the one who taught me how to wear makeup, and certainly not because of her everlasting patience with my sister and I. My mom is actually very short tempered, doesn’t wear any makeup, and neither of us could bake a single chocolate chip cookie if our lives depended on it. I see my mom as my role model because she had the courage to sacrifice her work to stay at home and take care of my sister and I, because no matter what the problem she would always figure out a solution, and because she was the one who pushed me to take the risk and come to the U.S to study when I was only seventeen. She continues to be a major influence on the person I am today, and for that, I’ll be ever grateful.
Well known communications scholar Dr. Julia T. Wood states in Chapter 7 of her book, Gendered Lives, that there are five current themes of femininity and womanhood which contribute to what it is like to “grow up feminine” in America. But for the purpose of this blog, I will only go into three of them. These predominant themes revolve mainly around the ideas that “appearance still counts”, that women have to “be sensitive and caring”, and that they should aim to “be superwoman”. Ironically, my mom didn’t reinforce those ideas in me as much as my dad did. She actually told me to act more with the characteristics that are more associated with boys while growing up like “be successful” and “be self-reliant”.
This article found in CNN relates to this post because it talks about teaching girls from an early age to feel empowered. Making a reference to the very popular Superbowl commercial #LikeAGirl, the article states the importance of making girls feel confident too, from a very early age.
I think that since I started playing tennis, the themes of “be successful” and “be self-reliant” started to overshadow the more feminine ones. Since I had to travel with a bunch of boys to the tournaments, I stopped caring so much about my appearance and focus more on my performance and bringing results back home because I wanted to make my parents feel proud. Also, being self-reliant was something that from a very early age got stuck with me. The constant reinforcement of these two characteristics made me become someone who is very independent and who is able to actually rely on her own.