An Open Letter To Society On Its Treatment of Young Girls

An Open Letter To Society On Its Treatment of Young Girls

"And you have poured self-hate down the throat of almost every female; I pray she has the strength to throw it back up."

Dear society,

I understand that you have goals for us. You need people to fill your roles so that life can continue as planned, and you need to make sure people understand their own places within your hierarchy. But wow, you really should go about doing it another way that doesn't involve beating down and stepping on young girls every step of the way.

The contradictions and oxymorons that you feed to females throughout their entire lives are crippling enough. The lines between being confident or bitchy, proud of yourself or slutty and outgoing or conceited give everyone (even the socially apathetic ones) anxiety, making them stressed about accidentally coming across as more obnoxious or uncaring than they actually are and miscommunicating their purpose. But that isn't even what I am writing you to complain about today; it is about the gross unfairness that is heaped upon girls from the age of 12 to 15.

You tell them to find themselves and throw stereotypes at them, but only a select few stereotypes are the "chosen" good ones. Yet then, when everyone attempts to meet them since that is what is labeled as "successful" or "destined for success," suddenly they are basic, unoriginal and just another mimic. You tell them that they must be unique and creative to be themselves, but you permit everyone else to laugh at the ones that stick out and are different. You allow certain things to be branded as "cool" and "allowed," but then simultaneously look down on the people who enjoy them, even the people who genuinely enjoy them and don't use fads as a way to gain friends.

And speaking of friends. You teach kids that they self-worth is measured in the friends that they have, the number of people they surround themselves with at parties or in the hallways, the number of likes that they receive on Instagram. You teach them that they are only beautiful or worthy of being loved if they are told this by other people. Then you look down on people who have "fake friends" and who spend too much time on their phones, telling them they "clearly aren't enjoying life enough."

But what is "enjoying life?" You, as society, have glamourized drugs, alcohol and crime in ways that have made them accessible and desired by young kids. Middle schoolers own vapes and sneak out after curfew to smoke marijuana, sometimes even selling drugs to make extra money. Then you label these kids both "maturely developed" and "immature delinquents" at the same time and call for a disciplinary program to be instated, completely ignoring the causes of the problem.

And the kids that try to hide from this, to separate themselves from an age group they do not want to be associated with and to keep themselves away from habits they do not want to acquire, are labeled "reclusive and antisocial." Friendships made digitally are discounted and looked down upon, and kids are constantly reminded that their friends online might be predators and cannot be trusted (another example of the extreme overgeneralizations that pervade our society), yet another way of making them feel isolated and alone.

Yet possibly the harshest judgment that you pass upon these young kids, and most specifically on these young girls, is that of attention. You teach that there is an art to receiving attention - you must be funny or attractive, or both if you're really lucky, but anything short of that is obnoxious and you ought to be ashamed. And I would know - as a child, I won both a writing and a reading contest, and I was beyond embarrassed of the congratulations I received. I did not want to be in the spotlight, and I resented the attention I was receiving because it meant people were looking at me and judging me.

They probably weren't, in hindsight. But how was I to know, because you had instilled in me that everything was a competition? You had taught me from such a young age that being second was the first of the losers, that success could only be achieved by stepping on the heads of my peers and that to be on top was the ultimate goal. You taught me that eyes were everywhere, making judgments on my person based on my clothing, my hairstyle, my makeup and my posture, instead of on my achievements, my smile and the contents of my heart... and you have continued to do so. You have made young girls who dared to show kindness feel as if their lot in life is just to be used and taken advantage of and thus allow it. You have beaten down assertive women by calling them "scary," "brash" and "bitchy," making them feel as if they have to choose between being loved by others or living alone in a palace of gold and thus forcing them to leave their paths of success to a man, whom you will shower in praises of his manliness.

And I was not the stereotype that you'd told me I should have been, so I was ashamed of myself and I hid. I was not proud of myself. I was too tall for my age, I had braces and I had hit puberty a little bit too young, so I stood out. All I wanted was to disappear into the floor as I tried to hide the fact that I was wearing a bra at age 11 and I lied about needing glasses so I could fit the "nerd" stereotype, and then I didn't have to talk to anyone, and they couldn't see that I was boring and different. Was I? Of course not. But I wasn't the girl that you had told me that I needed to be, so I hated myself. And even until I was 15, I lied about my grades to my peers so that I did not seem to be as smart as I actually was and so they would feel good about themselves.

You have made brilliant, beautiful girls feel that they deserve to throw competitions and give away their rightful earnings to "make other people feel good." You have empowered some people to crunch others, and you have made others feel okay with being crunched. You have made people feel as if they deserved abusive relationships and friendships and have kept them in it because you have taught women that they are nothing without their men or their large circle of friends, and you have poured self-hate down the throat of every single woman that has ever existed, unless she was one of the ones that you empowered.

I pray that every girl reading this has the strength to throw that self-hate back up in the face of everyone that has ever tried to squash them. I pray that every girl stands up for herself, gets the new friends or new boyfriend that she deserves and is proud of her hard work. I pray that one day, you as society begins to embrace the unique spirit inside every female like you do with males and that loathing and bullying ceases. Because the ages of 12 to 15 are pivotal, essential to development.

And we need everyone, whole and empowered and complete, to get together, because these divides and put-downs are keeping us from working together to solve society's problems.

With an extreme hope for change,

Your daughter, who survived your abuse.

Cover Image Credit: HD Wallpapers (Admin)

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Being Ugly

What it means to me


Due to a series of ongoing events throughout my semester, I've reconsidered what it means for someone to truly be ugly. Though it is often used in terms of appearance, I do not see it as such-- now more than ever. Ugliness runs deeper than appearance-- it runs within one's soul and festers into other areas of one's life, particularly in their treatment of others.

I view ugliness as someone's conscious capacity and implementation of malice. Taking time and energy out of your day to hurt someone else, that's what I view as ugly. Some offenses are more minor than others, however, it is still a conscious effort to hurt or affect someone else negatively-- and that's the source of the problem. I truly wonder what causes that sort of behavior in someone, as I, along with most people, simply do not invest time or energy into hating or plotting against others. It seems like a full-time job.

I can theorize all sorts of reasons as to why someone would act this way: hate, jealousy, vengeance, etc. Yet, all of these reasons don't hit the root reason. It almost seems that some people are just innately ugly in their soul. This alludes to the timeless debate of whether one's personality is due to nature or nurture. Again, although our surroundings and environment do have a large effect in our behavior, that alibi only goes so far when multiple people are placed in the same environment, in the same situation, and only some are willing to cross moral boundaries in order to hurt the others. Just because an environment applies pressure to people, does not mean everyone is going to act out in malice, and it certainly does not give everyone an excuse to do so. Some people are simply conniving and, well, ugly inside.

If you have ever encountered people like this, I know from personal experience that it is such a drag. You have an enemy, essentially, whether you chose to or not, however based on their hatred towards you, they are now considered an enemy, a hater, and any other associated term. Know that they will do anything in their power to bring you down, even if it requires bending the truth and creating elaborate schemes, but you have to keep on doing you. Let them obsess over ways to bring you down. At the end of the day, their time and energy is being invested into bringing you down, while yours is being used to build yourself up. They will fall by default. So, keep your head high, act in grace, and make your money. They can sip on their Haterade and watch from below.

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