Growing up, little girls are exposed to princess movies. They see and hear these tales of young girls dressed in sparkling ballgowns, going to balls, and singing and dancing. At the same time, they are often found having to cook or clean, all the while hoping for a better life.

Throughout each fairytale, there seems to be one common thread; a prince will come along and fix everything. To sum it up, a man will come and save them from the hardships they are faced with, and provide the girls with a better life.

This was found to be the basic storyline of how a women's life used to play out. She would learn to be dainty, and that once she got to the more difficult part of her life, a guy would come along and provide for her.

Now, of course, as a little girl, I watched a handful of these princess movies, sang and danced along, owned my own princess dresses, and would dream about the day that my prince would come along. My mom, on the other hand, didn't want this to be how my story played out.

If there is one thing that I can thank my mother for, it would be for raising me to think that just because I am a girl, that doesn't mean that I am any less, will be any less, or will achieve any less than my male counterpart.

My parents never exposed me to the idea that, as a female, I would have barriers already set on my life. My mother specifically, thought that if I was taught to think this, I would already be limiting myself to what I could achieve. What I was taught though, was that, yes, I will have to face some obstacles because of my gender, but being a female is not an excuse for me to not be able to achieve the future I want for myself.

She always said that I can get the life that I want for myself through hard work, and also that I don't need anyone else to do it for me…especially not a guy.

Another thing that she wanted me to know was that I didn't have to be overly dainty. Yes, I can present myself as feminine and poise, but to do so in a manner that wasn't coming off as a fragile. As she likes to say anymore, "Don't be dainty like a flower, be dainty like a bomb." To me, this was her way of saying to be tough, and not let anyone push me around.

Because of my mom, I now have an outlook on life that my gender doesn't prevent me from achieving my goals. So, to my mom, thank you for giving me a strong woman like yourself for me to look up to, and thank you for teaching me how to basically be a bada**.