Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Solitude: At Seventeen

Janice Ian: At Seventeen


Something about becoming a father has made me the biggest sap in the world. My 24 year old self would beat the crap out of me, I'm sure of it. But when I listen to this song I'm moved by Janice Ian's open confessional describing the deplorable rules that govern the lives of what she calls "ugly girls".

I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
And high school girls with clear skinned smiles
Who married young and then retired
The valentines I never knew
The Friday night charades of youth
Were spent on one more beautiful
At seventeen I learned the truth

As a father and as a human being I sincerely hope the truth isn't always as harsh as that for those women who don't fit the dysmorphic caricature of beauty that we've developed in the western world. From what I've seen I think my hope may be in vain. Still, I hope my daughter never feels this way for a minute of her life, and I hope no other girls do either.

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