GIRLS by Ellie Israelsen (17)
I have written about girls before. If you read back to the amazing women’s day pieces, I wrote a somewhat similar article, but I am writing about this again because of how important I feel it is.
We wear our hearts on our sleeves. We feel. We get hurt. We hurt. We get called vicious, jealous, backstabbing, fake, dramatic, and sensitive. We get called strong, beautiful, wise, kind, loving, and nurturing. We are all of things mixed together, and each one of those attributes comes out in different ways.
Every single one of us has felt self conscious. We have all felt like we’re too much of this, or not enough of that. I don’t care if you’re the most beautiful, and confident girl in the room, I know you have felt it in one way or another at least once in your life. We get hung up on physical things about ourselves. We like to look beautiful for other people. That is okay. That should not be shamed. We just must know that our value does not lie in physical beauty.
Objectification. We get looked at as bodies. We love to victimize men and the media for this. We blame it all on them, but we also do it to ourselves. It is very common that the first thing we say to a girl, has something to do with her physical appearance. We compliment her hair, clothing, shoes, body, or anything we can see right off the bat. Of course, this is done in kindness, and it is not bad to make someone feel beautiful. That in and of itself is not objectification. But praising someone only for what they look like, most definitely is. Be careful.
We backstab. I am so tired of hearing girls say horrible things about their best friends right after they leave the room. This goes for boys and girls obviously. It is human nature to find the dirt on people, not just female nature, but from my experiences it seems to be more female than male. Stop it. Just love. People are imperfect, every single one of us messes up. We know this. So be easy on each other, forgive quickly.
We are strong. Women are amazing. Think of your mother, your grandmother, your aunts, your friends. Think of all of the women that have gone through horrible, terrifying experiences and handled it with grace, courage, and strength. We must never confuse being strong with being unkind, or harsh. Speak your mind, say exactly what you believe, stand up for who you are, but let it always be kind and respectful. Kindness is the greatest form of strength.
We are nurturing. As women, we come here as nurtures. We have this beautiful ability to love, comfort, and provoke growth in another. Of course, some more than others, and yes, of course men can be loving, comforting, and nurturing as well. But think of the ability to nurture another, almost as a girl superpower. When another is hurting, drowning, scared, or lost, you have this unique and powerful ability to lift them up, to love them, to make them feel okay. Never be ashamed of this, or act to tough to do so. Help others grow, do not tear them down.
Band together. Never be scared of other girls. Don’t back down or shy away because you feel that someone is prettier than you, or not pretty enough for you. Do not ever let yourself be afraid of someone else changing your image. Let them in. Empowered women, empower women, even if they think they have a better body, better hair, clothes, shoes, eyelashes, legs, or whatever it is. They empower women that don’t get as much praise for their bodies, and that don’t look like a girl that could be in a magazine, because they don’t care. If you are an empowered woman, you do not place value in the look, size, shape, or praise in your body, or anyone else’s. Stand together, build each other up. Celebrate one another’s victories, and do not allow yourself to feel bitterness or jealousy.
We need each other. Be a friend. Love each other. Just forgive, get over it. Bitterness and begrudgement will destroy an irreplaceable friendship. We should be there for each other, always and forever. We get hurt by boys, we get down on ourselves, we get emotional about good things and bad things. We literally bleed together. We need to be there for each other. We need to be one another’s protectors, supporters, and safe houses.
We are strong. We are one. We have come so far. Let’s love, and help each other grow to our highest capacity.