Nature / Nurture

Leaving Colorado on Tuesday, the first day of school for most communities still tied to an
agrarian calendar (for nostalgic reasons if not agrarian), I saw school children standing at the roadside awaiting the bus. Several impressions struck me.

First, despite the morning’s chill, none of the boys wore sweaters. Apparently, wearing a sweater, sweatshirt or jacket is unmanly. From whence cometh this “manly” thing? And just as I wondered about “manly,” I flashed to my granddaughter  and wondered about “girly.”

My flash took me back to a family reunion a week ago where we entertained ourselves taking Vogue-style pictures. White framed sunglasses featured in each person’s photo shoot, and each of us was to assume a Vogue-style pose and attitude. The attitude was to be bored and seriously unhappy. If you don’t know the high-end model look, think of Victoria Beckham.

We had such light-hearted fun. But looking at the photos later, gave me pause. My granddaughter’s only cues were to wear the glasses and pose like a fashion model. And there she was! Going-on-eight without access to fashion magazines or television, she had pretzeled her legs and slouched into the chair like a world-weary starlet. Where did that sexy pose come from?

Nature I would think. Nothing in her upbringing would suggest nurture.

Enhanced Beauty

Then again, maybe she was taking cues from me. Another family activity involved face painting. When it was my granddaughter’s time to paint me, I suggested that she enhance my too thin lips and do something with my faded eyes. And she did!


Writers’ Trigger:

  • Fall is threatening. Time to get serious about doing those daily morning pages.
  • Share your thoughts about nature/nurture. Or…
  • Reflect on your first awareness of feminine or masculine beauty. Or…
  • Comment on the commercial sexualization of children. Let your inner critic out!

About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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