And her advice is timeless
Words – Natalia Lusinski
From the editors of HelloGiggles
We love Laura Dern in everything she does, from Big Little Lies to Twin Peaks.
Dern recently wrote a touching letter to her daughter and her advice is timeless. It’s addressed to her 12-year-old, Jaya, and appears in the September issue of InStyle, and we’re telling you now — it’s amazing.
In a nutshell, it’s about expectations, and letting go of them, even in the midst of societal (and social media) pressure. Below are our favourite excerpts from the letter and, no matter if you’re Jaya’s age or an adult, one thing’s for sure — you’ll be able to relate.
So, sit back, relax, and prepare to be inspired.
‘Dear Jaya, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a woman today. A woman in her own skin, in her power, without any labels placed on her. And as part of that process, I’ve thought back to what I saw when I was your age…’
Dern then goes into how she grew up in a ‘new time, culturally’ — the 70s, a time when women wanted to do more than those of past generations.
‘…Although society was beginning to accept this, it was assumed that those who tried to do it all were going to fail at everything…So my reaction, as I got older, was to decide that even though I could do all things, I was going to focus only on one at a time… And I’m writing this to you because I want to make sure that you don’t limit yourself in the same ways…’
And how many of us wish we knew all this sooner?
‘…In this strange climate I started realising that focusing on one thing in an effort not to fail at anything else was a weight I was carrying. And I want to be a woman who does it all, no matter how it turns out…’
Then, Dern moves on to what’s different between her generation growing up, and her daughter’s. Any guesses?
‘…There’s a huge force that’s affecting your generation — it’s called social media, and it’s mothering you as much as I am.
‘This other mother is very influential, and she’s telling you that your value is determined by how many people follow you. She is also deciding what beauty looks like and which extravagances add up to a fun life.’
OK, admit it, who can relate?
‘What social media is giving young girls right now are the two stories that keep us trapped — the black and the white…
‘But I want you to know that most of your life will happen in the grey spaces between bliss and heartbreak, between having everything lock into place and having it all fall apart. That’s where the grace is.
‘You have to get out of your own way and write your own story — and not be forced into the narrative that you think will give you the easiest path to success or the most likes.’
You can check out Dern’s letter to her daughter in full at InStyle US.
Now, excuse us while we go and print it out and re-read it 100 more times…