If there’s one thing that I care deeply about it’s my son’s sense of self.
I'll be honest. The instinctive part of me as a Mom, the part that wants to protect my children from cruelty, scrutiny, and humiliation of any kind wanted to scream, "TAKE THE COSTUME OFF, BABY! DON'T GO OUT THERE!"
Being a leader is not a title held only by the smartest and the fittest. Sadly most people, especially women, don't see themselves as leaders simply because they don't manage a company, organization or teams of people. However, those same people are parents, partners, volunteers, family members, and friends. All of those roles have a leadership component to them one way or another.
There are too many dangerous misconceptions that shape our view of the so-called perfect relationship. Usually, those misconceptions deal with the stripping of one's individuality in the name of long-lasting coupledom and undeniable romance.
Whatever career you have, at some point you have probably felt the need to differentiate yourself and stand out -- for people to know it is you. For a raise, a new job, to start a company -- there are so many reasons it is important. Whether you have something as physically distinctive as Iris's glasses or a specific view on the world, how do you stand out?
This being true to your whole self -- this individuation -- isn't easy. It takes courage and perseverance, but in the long run it feels better. And for many people, bringing their unique offerings to the world is what gives their life meaning.
Most of my friends don't believe this, but my childhood friends know. Growing up, I was a nerd. I was shy, teacher's pet, valedictorian in elementary school, terrified of boys; and I was most comfortable when I had my nose in a book.