Did you know that Amelia Earhart designed her own clothes? I can't tell you how much I am cheered by this fact.
Recently I had a conversation with an eight-year-old. This girl is nothing like me. I was a girly-girl from the get-go. I loved baby dolls and crinolines and patent leather shoes, and dresses of dotted-swiss with velvet ribbons. But this little girl likes none of those things. Instead of dolls, she likes Spiderman; instead of bows, she likes bows and arrows. She cut all her hair off when she was four, and her mother has been persuaded to keep it that way. She is often mistaken for a boy. And she likes it. And I like her.
During our conversation, we talked a bit about movies. I don't know much about children's movies. Although I saw "Kung Fu Panda" with this same little girl. I liked it. I think she did too. So we have that in common.
Because it's so ubiquitous, I asked her if she had seen "Frozen." Yes, she had, although she added, "But it wasn't very good."
This surprised me, because from children, adults, and even that group called "critics," I heard it was very good indeed.
"What about it," I asked, "was not good?"
"Anna should have been a ninja; not a princess."
This worried me.
I answered: "Well, I think that you don't have to be a ninja to be a hero. I think that a princess can be a hero too -- if she does the right thing."
The young girl didn't respond. But I hope she thought about it.
I've thought about it a lot.
Because I hope that in the future, people will accept this small human for exactly what she is comfortable being. But I also hope that she accepts those who are not like her.
I don't want her to show disdain for girls in pink crinolines. Any more than I want her to be derided for her Batman sneakers.
There's room for all kinds of girls in this world.
And that is why Amelia Earhart as fashion designer so heartens me. Even 80 years ago, this woman wanted to be an aviator. AND have cool clothes.
And why not?
Am I shallow because I love clothes and makeup?
Can't this just be another side to a smart and complex woman?
Because I'm happy when my hair looks great, does that trivialize me?
I have important things to say.
Why can't I change the world while wearing a pretty dress?
Read more from Nancy at her blog, "Not Quite Old.".