Friday, December 16, 2011
When I first shared the story of Katie, the girl who was teased for her Star Wars water bottle, you Epbot readers blew me away with your immediate and resounding tidal wave of support. It remains one of the most inspiring things to have ever happened on this blog.
Well, today is "Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars" Day - a day Katie and her mom Carrie created for geeks everywhere to wear their scifi or geek t-shirts proudly, and also to donate a geek toy to charity (making it clear that the toy is for either a boy OR a girl). Because this isn't a day just for Star Wars fans; it's for fans of all types.
"So I went to work fashioning a Mr. Spock costume for my 6-year old daughter. Who cares if it's a male character? Who cares if none of the other kids at school will have any clue about who Spock is? She wants to be Mr. Spock and I was super proud.
"Of course, being Mr. Spock was a bit of a learning experience for my daughter. After a full day at school in her costume, she told me that it was hard to keep explaining who Spock was. Only the teachers had any clue what Star Trek was, and several kids made fun of her for being a character that was a boy. I even overheard one of the teachers saying she looked 'weird' in her costume. That comment nearly brought out the protective lioness in me, but I settled for a sharp glare.
"After the day was done, my daughter seemed to regret her costume choice. I reminded her that she picked the costume because it was a character she liked and that is all that mattered. I also told her that I thought she was super cool and I know there were thousands of people out there that would think she was a super cool kid for picking Mr. Spock as her Halloween costume.
Look, I'm an optimist. I prefer to dwell on the positive rather than the negative. Stories like Katie's and Bryden's inspire me, because the next generation [smirk] is expressing themselves in ways I never did at their age. They know what they love, and they want to share those things. That, my friends, is AWESOME.
Now, could we gripe about the judgmental teacher and insensitive classmates? Sure. We could write long articles about bullying, and decry the cruelty of childhood, etc., etc - and certainly those things have their place.
Or...We could drown out the negative with a rushing tidal wave of positive. We could make Bryden our Hero of the Week. We could share her picture with all the other little girls we know. We could tell our friends about her, and remember her example any time we're tempted to feel embarrassed about the things we love.
And most importantly? We can tell Bryden that her costume wasn't "weird," it was amazing. We can show her that she just earned herself her own personal fan club. We can share our own stories of costumes and passions and reassure her that she's not alone, because we geeks - girls and guys alike - we stick together.
Here, I'll start:
Ok, guys: your turn.
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