Reader Judy sent me this request via e-mail:
One of my fellow engineering students made the comment that girls in engineering are either “hot” and dumb, or really smart, socially awkward, and “ugly.” Upon remembering that I am, indeed, a girl, he babbled something about a happy medium, but the meaning was nonetheless clear. Time spent with power tools can limit my skirt and dress wearing, but I like to believe that I can be perceived as a woman, even an attractive woman, and also as competent and intelligent.
Originally posted 2011-08-09 06:22:31.
When I was in high school, my dear friend Emily would address me by saying, “Hey, beautiful!” It always unnerved me back then, though I would never have been able to articulate why. With my 20-20 hindsight, however, I can quite easily tell you why: I didn’t believe I was beautiful.
I never mentioned this to Emily, of course, because sheesh, how rude would THAT be. And so she kept doing it. And so I kept cringing. But eventually the cringing lessened, and then subsided completely. And on a day to day basis, I may still struggle to believe that I’m beautiful. But what I DO believe is that Emily thinks I’m beautiful. I believe that every day, and it is meaningful and helpful and a generous gift for her to have given me.
Originally posted 2014-04-28 06:36:21.