How Becoming an Auntie Made Me Realise How Badly Society Teaches Us to Treat Little Girls

I’m unlearning what used to be considered normal

Charlie Brown
Bitchy

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Photo by Jessica Eirich on Unsplash

Growing up, my body was not mine.

It was there for anyone who wanted to give it a squeeze, a kiss, a smoosh. I was complimented on my naturally blonde hair and tall, slim frame by everyone from my aunties to my teachers.

Back then, little girls were dolls, not humans with body autonomy.

I don’t want that for my nieces. But since becoming an auntie to two little girls, I realise how much work has to be done to break this cycle.

I realise how so many people think there’s nothing wrong with asking little girls to hug or kiss anyone from family members to perfect strangers, whether they want to or not.

Or how easy it is to comment on their prettiness, as if their self-worth is directly linked to how Bambi-like their eyes are.

I’m determined to undo what I was told growing up. I ask for hugs, even if my will is tested every time I see them. I resist the urge to tell them how beautiful they are all the time, even though I think they are.

I don’t want to help raise another generation of girls who don’t know how to see their worth beyond their…

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Charlie Brown
Bitchy
Writer for

Writer of opinions. Wine & food pro. Editor of Rooted, a boostable Medium food & drink pub. Niche-avoidant. Also at thesaucemag.substack.com