Like many, today I was saddened to learn Shirley Temple Black passed away. Throughout her long life, she inspired many with her bouncy curls, tap shoe clad feet and those blond curls. As she aged, her childhood remained an ageless epitome of adorable. I admire the work she did as an adult, but I have a selfish and personal reason for mourning her today.
Shirley Temple made me believe I was beautiful. As a little girl, I too sported a round face and blond banana curls. If I had a working scanner, I’d post a picture. Kids teased me because I didn’t have the stick-straight 1970s hair. It didn’t matter. I had Shirley Temple curls and she was a glamorous, famous movie star. Secretly, I hoped to be cast as her in a bio-pic since I could tap dance too, but that never happened.
When she became a diplomat, she taught me another lesson. We don’t have to let ourselves be defined by our first job or our childhood or whatever box others try to put us in. Thank you, Shirley Temple Black. I admire you.