I saw a little girl today who was absolutely riveted by the life in the rotting seaweed around the harbour. I love seeing these little moments, because it takes me back to some of my first experiences as a ‘young naturalist’ of sorts.
I was nearby, photographing and identifying pollinators: I was just about to go over and ask her what she had found…
Both of us had our moments shattered, however, as her mother started screaming at her about getting her clothes dirty. Unfortunately, I also have memories of moments like these, where the female obligation to be decorative trumped my right to be fascinated and curious about the world around me.
She immediately started crying when he parents took her by the arm and led her away.
For those of you who are parents or caregivers, think of what is means to prioritise a child’s appearance over her learning and interests. It’s not fair to socialise girls this way: it breeds self-consciousness, insecurity, and I’m absolutely sure has a direct link to why girls and women are under-represented in the sciences.