(via womenshistory.about.com)

When I was in fifth grade our big History Class project was called Living Biographies. This meant that every student had to pick someone (who was dead) to spend time studying and then at the end of the year you would dress up as him or her and give a five minute speech pretending to be your chosen notably historical person.

I came across a quite by Eleanor Roosevelt earlier today. She said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” What a smart lady. I wish I had thought the same thing when I was 10 years old.

I remember my mom wanted me to be Eleanor Roosevelt. I was fine with this until I looked her up in a book and I realized…she was ugly. I quickly ran back to the Living Biography Form and crossed her off my list of women (because I didn’t even think about impersonating a man) I would want to represent.

I mean, what is ugliness? I am looking up some pics of Eleanor right now and she’s got a super cute smile. And an amazingly straight nose, right? Really well shaped eye brows…

I ended up being Sacagawea instead. She looked more like me anyways…brown skin, black, coarse hair. But I felt bad tonight that I didn’t give Ms. Roosevelt a chance…I think we actually had a lot more in common. Eleanor had a lady lover. So do I. Sacagawea was boss at surviving in the untamed wilderness. I’ve never camped a night alone in my life.

Maybe the similarities end there.

But who taught me to discard a woman based on her ugliness? Can I blame this reaction on society teaching me that a woman’s value is in her sexi-hotness? Can I blame this on Nurture? I don’t want to believe that my reaction to Ms. Roosevelt was from Nature. Maybe it was. That makes me sad. How do I unlearn that if I haven’t already?


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