Reasons I love my hippie/feminist mother.

She was making Kombucha tea in our hallway closet back in the 90's before you were buying it at Whole Foods.

She rarely got us Barbies, because they were not realistic representations of what women looked like, but when she did get us a few, she insisted that we have ethnic Barbies as well, because beauty comes in all shades.

We were not allowed to have Ken dolls, so if we wanted to give our dolls "boyfriends" we had to use stuffed animals.

I wasn't allowed to shave my legs until I was in my mid-teenage years.  Natural was beautiful...even with dark Italian/Cuban hair.

Makeup was also off the table until I was much older.  I used to burn the edges of cork desperately trying to make my own eyeliner because beauty products were off limits. She instilled in me what natural beauty was, and set the example because I never remember her spending much time in front of a mirror painting her own beautiful face.

She was shielding me from this.

 She told me several times how important it was to have a skill and to be able to support myself.  It wasn't an option to wait for a man to provide.  A smart woman is always able to provide for herself as needed.

 At least in front of two young girls she loved her body and never disparaged it.  I can't ever recall hearing my mother tear her personal appearance a part. There was no "I'm fat", "I need to lose weight", "I need botox".  She didn't put too much emphasis on outer appearances, and we took notice that it wasn't the most important thing in life.

She was always a mom first. Never caring so much about being a "friend" first that it skewed her duty as a mother.

She taught me the art of thrift store shopping at a young age, and being appreciative of being able to afford a 99 cent shirt. Going to Goodwill was a treat  long before Macklemore made it cool.

She instilled in me the power of homeopathic treatments and not poisoning our bodies with chemicals and toxins that others call "medicine". Ever try curing a yeast infection with yogurt? It works.

She never called me a princess. Nor did she promote princess-related themes...(I'm looking at you Disney films).

 She doesn't let me get away with anything...ever!  To this day. That's why I love her.