By nicole mabry
15 Feb 2010
My niece Emma can be summed up most succinctly with one word: Girl. She has to be the most girlie girl I've ever come across. When she was younger she would try on about 15 outfits before finally settling on one. And if you tried to tell her what to wear, she would scream and tear off her clothes. This lasted from about ages 4 on. We've quickly learned to let her take her time and wear exactly what she wants, even if that meant glitter and rhinestones.
Now me being a tomboy my whole life, I had no idea how to relate to my niece. I had more experience with sports and insects than with clothes and make-up. Finally one day she asked if she could do my hair and make-up. I brought out every hair accessory and piece of make-up I owned. We spent a good hour together talking and laughing while she went to work. At the end, I realized I had a lot more in common with her than I thought. From then on, we made the make up and hair time a recurring event.
I decided to start an annual photo shoot with her every year when I came home for Christmas. This is only the second year, but she is really blossoming in front of the camera. I ask her to wear what she wants and look how she wants. Sometimes I help her with her hair and make-up, like she does with me. She has always been a willing and enthusiastic model. I'm glad I've gotten the opportunity to have these moments with her, because she's taught me that taking the time to talk to someone can turn them into someone you never thought they were.