Tiaras are great, Tiara Syndrome not so much!
Before I start let me say I adore tiaras, (not tiara syndrome) in fact, I would wear one every day if it was socially acceptable (not that I really care about that either, but who am I kidding I only have one tiara, dusty and sitting on a shelf; it reminds me of my first husband, so on the shelf, it will stay!) I love princesses, adore Disney, think there is nothing wrong with waiting for Prince Charming or your husband to come home and do a job you don’t want to do because it’s too dirty. I love tiaras, but I don’t like something that has become known as; Tiara Syndrome.
It is something I am seeing more and more in young girls and I think it is a symptom of a society that doesn’t like to see our children suffer or feel uncomfortable in any way.
So what is Tiara Syndrome?
In essence, it is a very victim-like complex that has you waiting to be saved or recognised. You do everything in the hope that someone will appreciate you, say thank you or just even say ‘good job’. It is I think a syndrome that most women suffer from, perhaps because good girls are quiet or because we are not encouraged to speak up or because we still, like it or not, live in a society where women are supposed to do everything and the perfect wife and mother do it all without complaining, breaking a sweat or smudging her lipstick.
I say we should all join The Bad Mums Club, drink gin at 10 am and send our children to school with stale sandwiches. Ok, maybe not the stale sandwiches.
I think as women we do it because we want to show how committed and educated we are, maybe we still feel we need to work twice or should I say ten times as hard as our male counterparts and I guess at some point we secretly believe that our boss, husband, children will say thank you and give us an award for all we do behind the scenes.
But the opposite happens; we become invisible, go unnoticed and blend into the background, all adding to our frustration and leading to some very passive-aggressive behaviour.
I can’t even begin to tell you the number of parents I have spoken to that tell me how unappreciative their children are, tell me how much they do and talk about the praise they never get. When I ask if they have spoken to their children or partner about it, of course they haven’t because we stay quiet; that’s what we do isn’t it?
Now you’re all grown up and if you choose to carry on this behaviour on your head be it, but have we thought for even just a minute how this might affect our children who are watching.
Maybe the pressure that our young girls feel under is as much to do with the insane amount of stuff their mothers do as much as it is the media and social trends. I see girls at school doing everything, getting the grades, in every club, staying behind at school helping this person, that person; they are exhausted and have little sense of self or who they are. Often when you dig deeper there is a powerful mother who holds everything together and they think that anything less means they have failed. These mothers often tell their daughters that they don’t have to be perfect, not to take on as much and to speak up, when most of them are not heeding their own advice. Then think of the boys watching you do this, watching mum hold everything together and while Dad works so hard, he has an easy life of it elsewhere.
What kind of message do you think that gives them?
Female empowerment begins at home, in the sons and daughters we raise, in what they see every day in their homes.
We just need to think about this I guess, think about maybe handing some jobs over, speaking to our other half about lightening the load, letting our children know how long that university list we put together really took ( yes, that one is for my daughter Freya). Perhaps it is time we just asked questions about how our houses are run and what message that is giving our children, rather than just blindly accepting the norm.
So by all means wear a tiara, buy them or leave them on the shelves collecting dust but please don’t fall into the Tiara Syndrome trap.