September 18, 2015

I was listening to the news when driving my daughter to school, and thought of how divided and divisive the world is right now. We’re all in our own little camps. Think of the cantina scene from Star Wars: the different species of aliens are sitting together, and they’re all equal. I hope when we look back, we’ll be horrified by the judgments we make on skin color or country of origin or sexual identity. We’ll be horrified by how we focused on otherness instead of what makes us all human.

In my kids, I see acceptance. Kids are not born seeing otherness. They’re born open. The rest gets trained into us by watching the news, our own parents and how people react. And all of that is rooted in insecurity. As a parent, I try to lead by example and instill in my children self-confidence while showing my own vulnerability. And as a model, I know it can sometimes make women feel less-than. I try to remind people that if wearing lipstick and high heels makes you feel good, then do it. And if it doesn’t, don’t do it.

Crawford is a model, an activist and the author of Becoming.

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