As a young girl myself, I longed for this place, I always wanted to listen in on the conversations my mother and her friends were having, and if I sat still enough they would sometimes forget that I was there and go on talking about all the most interesting things….
Here are a few hard and sad facts that our girls face daily: Girls between 11 and 14 see on average 500 ads a day. Canada has the 9th highest rate of bullying in the 13 year-olds category on a scale of 35 countries. (Canadian Institute of Health)By the age of 14 more than half (55%) of Canadian girls already feel pressure to be beautiful. Nearly half (47%) of Canadian girls between the ages of 10 and 17 have avoided social activities like going to the beach, participating in physical activities, going to school or giving an opinion because they feel badly about the way they look. (Dove) While 13% of Canadian girls (ages 10-14) are comfortable calling themselves ‘beautiful’, this number slides to 6% for girls ages 15-17 and to only 3% for women (ages 18-64); the percentage of girls who claim to be confident declines from 76% of girls 10-14 to only 56% of girls 15-17.
Given these sad statistics it is no wonder that supporting women and girls to change things is my life’s work! I desire BIG changes not only for my own daughter but also for the women that I work with, for the women who read our book and also for myself!
I owe it to myself and to my daughter to cherish her, and to show her how to have a healthy body and mind. This takes work, a LOT of work, because most our generation was not taught the old ways of honouring our daughters. For most of us it was a stiff upper lip as we were swept up in the wake of the early feminist era, as our mothers strived to show men, that we as women could do it all. Many of our mothers held jobs and ignored their soft emotional post-partum bodies in favour of going back to work as soon as possible, menstrual pain was ignored or medicated in an attempt to show men that it would not slow us down! Wearing white jeans during our “heavy days” was a thing to be proud of, and stuffing tampons into our vagina’s so we could go swimming and generally participate in all the things that boys could do all the time something to aspire to.
As important as many of these efforts were in empowering ourselves as women, much was also lost and left behind in favour of this new way. We as women lost our connection to our bodies and to the ancient connection of sisterhood. We lost our elders and gatherings, and the initiations for our daughters to mark the transition from girls into amazing young women. These rites of passage are important markers, and it is my passion and desire to never allow any of them to pass my daughter by!
“G Day celebrates this rite of passage by tapping into our collective sense of curiosity and bravery. G Day is more than a one-day event, it is a global movement that reminds us all of the journeys we take as women. We want to honour the secrets and wisdom that have been passed down from generation to generation, only to now find its way to you.
We are a sisterhood of girls and women. Together, we create a circle of common experiences and we see each other for who we really are. Our goal is to create a space where girls can come together and celebrate what makes them unique and also what connects them to each other.
When asked how we would transform a city, our answer was simple. Give us more space to laugh and to cry together, to share stories and rituals, to sit and to talk. Bring us together and the world will magically transform. And so we invite you to explore all of the wonders of womanhood on this adventure called G DAY. We guarantee you will come away feeling empowered, accepted and ready for the journey ahead.”
It is an honour to join my dear friends Madeleine Shaw one of the owners of Lunapads in this day long exploration of what it means to be a girl, how amazing and beautiful this can be, and how to navigate the often turbulent waters of puberty, peer pressure, and the messiness that life can bring a girl in 2014.