When 4-year-old Siahj Chase's classmate told her that he thought she looked "ugly" in school, he likely wasn't expecting to receive the most important lesson of the day from his peer.
In a video Siahj's mother Sonya posted to Facebook, Siahj (who goes by Cici) recounts telling the boy, "I didn't come here to make a fashion statement. I came here to learn — not look pretty."
Beyond being incredibly adorable, it's inspiring to see a girl, especially one so young, resist deeply ingrained messages about women and beauty, and advocate for herself and her education.
Indeed, the idea that, for girls, being "pretty" is more important than being smart is consistently reinforced by society. Perhaps one of the most depressing aspects of our impossible beauty standards is how young girls are when they start to feel their effects. Recent studies show, for example, that 1 in 4 children has been on a diet by age 7, and that more than half of girls age 6 to 8 indicate their ideal bodies are thinner than their current ones.
Luckily, at least one young girl is modeling how to rise above the pressure, and puts whoever questions her priorities in their place. When the boy told Cici she looked "bad," Cici continued to school him, retorting, "Did you look in a mirror lately? Bye bye, see you later, you're making me mad."
She may be 4, but we could all learn a thing or two from Cici.
h/t Huffington Post