Problem #10: Backstory Blunders
The past is prologue, for sure, but you can tell too much too soon dragging your plot down, if everything about the characters’ past is explained right upfront in Chapter One. (Click here for more discussion of this topic.)
Jada Pinkett-Smith is aware of the critics that frown up their noses at the way she raises her daughter, Willow. Willow cuts, dyes and styles her hair as she pleases, a fact that bothers many who feel girls shouldn’t have that much control over their appearance at such a young age.
Jada decided to address the criticism in a Facebook post:
“A letter to a friend…This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete. The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be.”
Oh Jada, I love you.
My mom doesn’t want me to get tattoos. Maybe she should talk to Jada.
While I was growing up, I did everything that my parents told me to do
I kept my focus on school
I never left the house
I never made friends with people I knew they wouldn’t like
I never got into a relationship (and basically killing my heart so that no one could get in)
I never drank alcohol or did drugs
I never asked for anything
I never showed or told them how I truly felt (because it was disgusting for them to hear or see)
And the list goes on….
But despite doing my best to maybe earn a bit of their love, here I am 20 years later still walking on egg shells around them, worrying that I might offend them in some way and lose their love entirely.
Some of the people around me are bound to say ‘you shouldn’t even think those things, those people are your parents, they raised you and cared for you’.
And I really only have one question…are all those years of care really from caring (or love) when you could only get them after much physical and emotional abuse?
They said that your family would be your first and last defense against the evils of the world. But for me and my brothers and sisters, the evil that we know can be found inside our house.