Photo: Cecilia Novotney and Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander
Dear Nancy Rue,
The first time I heard the word "stereotype" my parents were talking together. I now realize, because of reading Lucy Doesn't Wear Pink, I have lived it since first grade! That is when I first wanted to play soccer. There wasn't a team I could play on. I asked my dad to help me start a team so we could get involved with the Parks and Recreation teams in a nearby town. We did that! Lucy had to "create" a soccer team for herself also. This proves to me there is no certain way a girl must act!
Lucy didn't like to wear pink clothes. I don't either! I remember when my favorite aunt gave me a pink shirt for my birthday. I had to wear it the next day because I knew that is what she expected. After that it ended up in the bottom of my shirt drawer.
I have an older sister and a younger one. My older one is a "girly-girl," my younger one is in-between. Sometimes she likes to play soccer, but mostly plays with dolls, or puts on make-up. Yuck. It's like how Lucy's Aunt Karen always wanted Lucy to wear pink and quit soccer. I wouldn't do that even for my favorite aunt!
Lucy's aunt sometimes bugged her about how she wears her hair. Her aunt often pointed out to Lucy how all the other girls at church were "pretty" - dressed up in their fancy dresses and having their hair fixed. My hair just doesn't feel right to me when it's up. I don't think how I dress or wear my hair makes a difference in how well I do my school work, or how I treat my family or friends. Those things just come from the person I am. I think Lucy felt this way also!
Lucy’s best friend is a boy. People would expect it to be a girl. Although Lucy didn’t say it in the book I figured out from her stories that just because I am a girl, it doesn’t mean I should have to act a certain way. I can dress how I want, enjoy playing soccer, and have both boys and girls as my friends. I didn’t have that figured out when I was in first grade and having to create a soccer team to play on! Thank you, Lucy, for helping me to understand myself, as a girl, better!