Act Your Age Not Your Shoe Size: Are You Too Busy Trying To Be The Cool Mom?

February 6, 2013  |  

Dear Readers,

While cruising YouTube a while back I decided to watch Brandy’s “Put it Down” video.  I was extremely impressed.  Brandy looked good, her sound was fresh, and the video was very colorful (and that’s good for someone like me who likes to be entertained by vibrant colors).  So it was a win all around the board.

However, when I read the comments, one person did say something that honestly was in the back of my mind.  They agreed about how they liked the video as well, but were expecting something a little more mature from her seeing that she’s a grown woman and has a daughter in double digits.  Though some people threw shade at the comment, citing how (I won’t say her name, because people are “over-saturated” by her) still dances after having her baby, and no one objects to it.

It did make me want to observe people and myself, as a mother, a little closer, and I have noticed that some parents do experience a little bit of a second wind after having a child.  There’s a saying that “children keep you young,” but now that’s also being proved by science.  An experiment by a Norwegian scientist along with Arizona State University put aging, elder, dementia and Alzheimer-ridden bees back in the role of caregiver, and found that within days the bees were back to their old vitalized selves, with a lowered rate of dementia and Alzheimer.  What does this mean for humans?  Well, bees and humans’ brains are very similar and have the same Prx6 protein in it and scientists are beginning to think that taking care of children is what keeps some parents young at heart for a few more years.  (Caveat, please do not try to heal your family and friends who suffer from these diseases by letting them babysit your children.  Further research is needed.)

So, this explains why I bump into nervous looking parents while we awkwardly walk around the junior’s department and exchange those lies we both mutter to each other in passing:  “Yeah, well, sometime these jeans/shirts fit me better…”

But, when you look at the children/teens, it just seems as though they are at the complete opposite of the spectrum.  They want to grow up too fast.  Which was an argument that came out in the comment section of Keke Palmer’s “Dance Alone” video.  We knew that this blossoming actress wasn’t going to stay a child forever, but people were concerned that she was trying too hard to prove that she was no longer a child and people should accept her as the 19 year old that she is.  In all honesty, Keke was just the soundboard that people were using to object to what they’re observing in the general population: the younger generation growing up too fast.  We see children and teens make unsound mistakes, hoping to prove their agency, while only making their caregivers look bad in the progress.

But, being in the entertainment business is different, and there’s pressure for the women to be seen as young and fresh, and the older teens to seem able and ready.  Maybe it’s unfair to hold Brandy to this standard.  Expect her to sit on a stool and single demurely about adult challenges, while “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” grooves like nobodies business on stage (no hate, I’m a fan of both).

What does this all mean?  One thing my mother is quick to say (while I occasionally bump into her in the Junior’s shoe department as well) is:  “Age only tells you how long you’ve been on this Earth, that’s it.”  But, I would like to encourage anyone who is under the age of 21, to please enjoy your youth.  There is nothing to rush to as an adult.  As my old pastor used to say:  “The grass is always greener on the other side, until you go over, examine it, and find out that it’s astro-turf.”  All of this is being typed by a woman in an off the shoulder Snoopy and Woodstock sweater…

Kendra Koger is wondering if “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” needs a background dancer to do the robot awkwardly in her upcoming tour.  If so, she can tweet her @kkoger

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