A few months ago I came across Reshma Saujani's TED talk, "Teach girls bravery, not perfection" and I was blown away. From the title it would seem like a simple enough concept but as I listened to her talk, all the points she brought up had me nodding in agreement. She believes that girls are socialised to be perfect and the "fear of not getting it right, of not being perfect" is stopping girls and women from being brave and taking risks.
Reshma's talk spoke about this need for bravery in the context of careers and academic excellence which are of course areas where girls should be encouraged to exhibit bravery but I want to apply her ideas in the context of making.
So often, I struggle with the belief that I can make some thing beautiful let alone wearable. I look at some patterns and just put it into the too hard for me basket. When I make mistakes I mull over them and never hesitate to point them out rather than relishing in the joy of the finished object. I keep pinning sewing patterns and pining over a handmade wardrobe but I don't dare to make that first cut into the fabric because I am afraid since my sewing skills are at such a novice level.
I want to challenge myself to "undo the socialisation of perfection" in myself. If I took Reshma's ideas and applied them to my making I believe that I would ultimately learn more and grow more as a maker. If I were to make with bravery rather than seeking perfection I would be more motivated to try bigger challenges. If I were brave enough to cut into that cloth I would achieve my goal of having a handmade wardrobe one day.
Now, when I look at all the balls of frogged yarn from the Maeve shrug project I don't see my failure I see the potential that this yarn be something else great. I also loved frogging it. It was so much fun pulling all those stitches out and making these bright yellow balls with it. I actually took it on our road trip to Port Macquarie and during the night when the Hubs was driving I frogged away because I realised it was easier to frog in the dark than to knit. Feeling this yarn in my hands again made me fall in love with it again and I do want to wear something knitted in its dreamy softness one day.
So, let's see how I go with this. I hope that as I make with bravery I will ultimately learn more and become a better maker. Will you join with me in being a brave maker too?
**The "Teach girls bravery, not perfection" TED talk can be found here.