One TikTok mom described the moment she realized people treat her daughter differently when they mistake her for a boy, and her insights are truly eye-opening!
Siera Bearchell (@sierabearchell) is a mom who shares her parenting experiences and insights — along with adorable videos of her toddler, Lily — on TikTok. Bearchell recently shared a video discussing the way people treat her daughter differently when they think she’s a boy and suggested more empowering ways that people can talk to kids of all genders.
“I don’t care that people think she’s a boy sometimes,” she explains. “But what I care about is that I realized people talk to her completely differently when they think she’s a girl versus when they think she’s a boy.”
When people think Lily is a girl, they generally compliment her appearance, Bearchell explains. But when they think she’s a boy, they are much more likely to comment on her actions, complimenting how strong or capable she is.
“99.9% of the time, when they think she’s a girl, they always comment on how pretty she is, her dress, she’s so beautiful,” Bearchell says. “When they think she’s a boy, they’ll say things like, ‘Wow, you’re so fast! You’re so strong! Look at you go!’ This has been happening since she was a baby.”
Bearchell believes that this kind of behavior reduces girls to their appearance, telling them that their only source of value is their beauty or fashion sense. “We are telling them that as girls, the most important things about them, the most important things that people notice, [are] how they look and how they dress,” she explains.
Bearchell wishes that people commented more on girls’ abilities, in addition to how they look. While she has no problem with people complimenting a child’s appearance, she thinks more people should tell girls how strong and capable they are.
She concludes the video by explaining, “There’s nothing wrong with commenting on the looks or clothing of little kids and babies because they’re always so cute. But I do believe we need to comment more on the strength and actions of little girls, because they need to know they’re more than pretty.”
‘I never thought about that’
Bearchell’s video has racked up more than 12 million views and had TikTokers applauding the mom’s insights.
“Say it louder! Oh, how you inspire me!” one TikToker commented.
“Wow, this is interesting and important to share! Only if we realize stuff like this and talk about it, we can change our behavior. Thank you!” another viewer wrote.
“I never thought about that, really valid point,” another viewer wrote.
Bearchell’s video serves as a reminder of how powerful words can be. It also suggests that small changes in how people talk to children can have a real impact!
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