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    I'm not sure why I thought this year's Halloween costume search would be different. Maybe because my daughter has asked to dress up as a panda for the holiday? The costume makers couldn't possibly use the cutest and cuddliest of bears to divide boys and girls down gender lines, can they?

    Oh, but they can. Because once again, when I plugged my daughter's Halloween costume request into Google, the results came back with options for boys ... and options for girls. Naturally, the costume pictured with a little boy covers all the skin and looks, well, like a panda. The option for girls?

    As my daughter -- a hardcore panda fanatic -- said when she saw it, "Pandas don't wear ruffled skirts!"

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    When I found out I'd given birth to a little girl, my first thought was that my husband would be thrilled to get "his girl." My second was one of relief: someone whose "parts" I get! I can do this!

    Indeed, it made those first few diaper changes easier. It's bound to make conversations about tampons and bras easier too (all in good time). But there's one area where I've struggled. What is my daughter supposed to call the female body parts that we share?

    I know the technical terms. Vagina. Vulva. And despite early hesitance to do so, I've taught them to my now 9-year-old daughter over the years.

    But at 9, she doesn't refer to her vagina or her vulva. Sometimes she says "crotch." Sometimes "cha cha." 

    Go ahead. Laugh. But it's her body. Is it so wrong for her to use silly euphemisms to describe parts of it?

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    Plenty of women dream about having a daughter someday who is their mini-me in every single way, but sometimes raising a little girl can be, well ... challenging.

    And oftentimes things come out of our mouths as "girl moms" that we never EVER dreamed we'd say before we had children, but you know how that goes.

    Nobody really gets the whole parenting thing until it actually happens to them. After a few years of experience as a mom, it's safe to say that nothing surprises us.

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    From the moment the second line on the pee stick turned pink indicating my husband and I were expecting our first child, I longed for a daughter. Actually, if I am being honest, I wanted her long before that moment in the bathroom when I went from one body to two. I think I'd been wanting a daughter since I was old enough to play with dolls and I was only interested in the ones in pink and frills. So when my midwife waved her magic wand over my belly and told me in no uncertain terms that the babe inside was pink as could be, I cried with elation.

    My husband was less sure. He'd been raised with only a brother. But I knew then and there I was getting the one dream I'd always had -- a mini me who would help bring back a mother-daughter relationship after the pain of losing my own mom at 16. It was too exciting.

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    We've all heard the phrase "like a girl" at one point in our lives. Whether it's when describing someone who "runs like a girl" or "hits like a girl," it's been used to characterize someone as weaker or lesser. Well, not anymore. In a video that's going viral, Always has brought on Lauren Greenfield (director of The Queen of Versailles) to show us what it really means to do it "like a girl."

    First, Greenfield asked multiple people -- teenage girls, younger boys, adult men -- to "run like a girl" and "throw like a girl." Immediately, they ran about with their arms flailing, their legs awkwardly stomping, and began throwing weakly. But then she asked the same question to preteen girls. And their responses will shock you. Take a look:

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    The world's top child modeling agency has requested an interview with my daughter. (And I'm not talking one of those scam agencies that ends up charging you for photo packages.)

    Part of me views this as our Honey Boo-Boo fork in the road, one I should avoid at all costs. And half my friends agree with that part.

    "Don't do it," one wrote me on Facebook. "Seriously, preserve her childhood. And your sanity. And her sanity. And everyone's sanity. Fool's gold my friend, all that for what?"

    "Don't all parents think their kid can be a child model or actor?" asked another.

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    A new study has come out that claims that parents today are more aggravated than parents ten years ago. It's somewhat ironic, given that women and men today tend to be more emotionally in-tuned and spiritually-enlightened than they were a decade ago, but moms and dads are reporting feeling frustrated with their kids these days.

    Wanna guess why?

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    Dear Barbie,

    It's been another rough week for you, hasn't it? Somebody left your scantily clad body at the top of the stairs, and you had to be rescued from the slobbery jaws of the dog. And then to top it all off, a bunch of scientists came out with another dubious claim that you are destroying little girls' chances at making something of themselves one teeny weeny waist at a time.

    In a study published in the journal Sex Roles, researchers Aurora M. Sherman and Eileen L. Zurbriggen have issued forth the brazen claim that you, oh plastic one, you are responsible for teaching girls that they have fewer career options than boys.

    They based this assumption, dear Barbie -- or do your friends call you Babs? -- on interviews with 37 girls ages 4 through 7.

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    Do you ever sit back and look at all our little girls in pink, and our little boys in blue, and wonder: How on Earth did we get here? Why will my daughter never, ever wear a color other than pink? (Oh no wait, she'll wear purple, too.) Who made these rules, anyway? Well, here's a video that gets you. Buzzfeed has lampooned our kids' gender color rules by flipping the scenario. Wouldn't it look CRAZY if we had the same gender rules for grown-ups? 

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    Josie Zetz is dealing with something no 11-year-old should ever have to: Her dad is dying. Jim Zetz, 62, has terminal stage 4 pancreatic cancer, so unless a miracle happens, he's not going to be there in the future to walk her down the aisle.

    Photographer Lindsey Villatoro was taking some final family portraits when Josie's mom Grace mentioned that her daughter was upset that her dad wouldn't be there for "memories down the line." She got the idea for a mini wedding to coincide with her eleventh birthday, so that she could have the experience of her dad walking her down the aisle.

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