Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

With song lyrics, Ernest Hooper looks to inspire his daughter

Some may watch the music video from Kelly Clarkson's hit song Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) and conclude the line dance performed by Clarkson and her crew looks a little cheesy.

If they saw me trying — and I do mean trying — to do the dance with my 10-year-old daughter, they would conclude my efforts reach a laughable combination of provolone, Monterey Jack and cheddar on the cheesy scale.

Still I try, because within the lyrics of the song lies a message I want my daughter to embrace.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

Stand a little taller

Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone

What doesn't kill you makes a fighter

Footsteps even lighter

Doesn't mean I'm over cause you're gone.

Granted, Clarkson sings about overcoming a failed relationship and that's not my daughter's concern as a fourth-grader.

But I try to get her to gravitate toward any song that offers a message of self-empowerment, because in some ways, she's already facing a societal tidal wave of negativity that can erode her confidence.

The Associated Press reported this month that girls as young as 10 have taken to posting videos of themselves on YouTube asking the question, "Am I pretty?"

Some of the responses have been anything but pretty. According to AP, some declare the young video creators "attention whores," ask for sex and to see them naked. Some call them "fugly" or worse.

One responder asked, "Y do you live, and kids in africa die?"

The technological advancements offered with mobile phones and the Internet add another dimension to the existing pitfalls that already exist for young girls.

Put navigating the Internet and social networks with the pressures of the "beauty industry" and the plight of eating disorders, cutting and other psychological challenges, and it's easy to understand why I'm searching for ways to stem the tide.

Certainly, my wife and I strive to serve as positive role models and build up Madelyn's world view. It can be difficult, however, to go from calling her "daddy's little girl" to telling her to "kick butt and take names."

So, every now and then I look through the pop music catalog to find an uplifting message, because when the words come from a celebrity, it resonates in a different way.

She's no longer surprised when I play India.Arie's I Am Not My Hair or Video on the way to school.

I'm not the average girl from your video

And I ain't built like a supermodel

But I learned to love myself unconditionally,

Because I am a queen.

I have a few more on my inspirational playlist — Natasha Bedingfield's Unwritten, Mary Mary's Get Up, Taylor Swift's Someday — but truth be told there are far more songs with the wrong message than the right message. When she sings I'm Sexy And I Know It, she laughs.

I cringe.

In the end, I'm a dad with a tool belt, arming myself with all the weapons I can find to beat back the negativity. Considering our debates about some of her television choices or how she can't let the mean words of a classmate make her upset, it's not easy.

But you know, what doesn't kill me will make me stronger.

That's all I'm saying.

Watch online

View Kelly Clarkson's Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) at

kellyclarkson.com/us/videos.

With song lyrics, Ernest Hooper looks to inspire his daughter 03/22/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 22, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. NATO rolls out the red carpet, buffs its image for Trump

    World

    BRUSSELS — NATO is not only rolling out the red carpet for U.S. President Donald Trump in Brussels Thursday, the military alliance — which Trump once declared obsolete — has been busy repackaging its image and is ready to unveil a new headquarters worth more than 1 billion euros.

  2. Taiwan becomes first in Asia to recognize same-sex marriage

    World

    TAIPEI, Taiwan — In a first for Asia, Taiwan's Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, punctuating a yearslong campaign by advocates for gay rights in one of the continent's most liberal democracies.

    Same-sex marriage supporters wave rainbow Taiwan flags after the Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Taiwan's Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, making the island the first place in Asia to recognize gay unions. [Associated Press]
  3. 'Top Gun' sequel? Tom Cruise says it starts filming soon

    Blogs

    Tom Cruise is once again feeling the need for speed.

    Tom Cruise starred in "Top Gun" in 1986, and said he'll begin work on a sequel within the next year.
  4. Trump presents Pope Francis with sculpture made by Florida artist

    Blogs

    An artist from Stuart, Florida, made a bronze sculpture that President Trump presented today to Pope Francis.

  5. What could have been the game-winning blast turned into a long single for Colby Rasmus.