A Back-to-School Repost: This One’s For The Girls

A Back-to-School Repost: This One’s For The Girls

I’m starting the week off with an encore presentation of a post I wrote back in March 2011. It came from my heart, and now that our girls are heading back to the classroom for a new school year, I thought it bore repeating. I have added a few additional thoughts to the original text.

If you agree, please share using the Facebook or Twitter buttons that appear below the post. Let’s remind the young women in our lives that we want them to hold themselves to a higher standard than supermarket tabloid “heroines,” pop star queens, and reality TV stars set forth.

“Oh, how sweet … she ‘friended’ me!”

That delightful girl who’s been such a help. Flattering, for sure, that she thinks I’m a hip-enough mom to want to know. I accept her request with a quick click of my mouse.

And then there it is: a window into her life.

Through it, I see the way she converses and interacts with her friends. And I’m stunned.

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The less-than-loving things they call each other, throwing words around as if they carry no weight. When did whore lose its sting?

The pictures they post of themselves: like they’ve been studying how to pose all their lives. Three-quarter profile, slight pout, the half-mast-eye-thing … what is this?! They’re not the pictures snapped of us as kids:

  • awkward,
  • out-of-focus,
  • with goofy faces

{and oh, the poor fashion choices}.

They’re meant to be alluring. How sad, considering how young these girls are.

I’m not raising girls. But since I’ve been invited into a few of their lives, I need to speak my mind, and fight for them: their youth, their childhood, and what’s left of their innocence in this remarkably fast-forward, hyper-sexualized 21st century.

1. You’re beautiful.

And you don’t have to have a certain hair color or shaped nose or be a certain size to be called that.

You have to have that special spark that only you carry.

I’ve got enough years behind me to know that when the most perfectly-put-together humans don’t have the personality to back the face up, their beauty is lost. I’ve seen that with my own eyes.

On the flip side, people are drawn to those who embrace all that is unique about themselves, believe in it, and share it. Beauty really does come from within.

2. Don’t sell yourself short.

And I mean this in every way.

Who you are and what you have to say is important.

Only you have your thoughts, beliefs, opinions, dreams, and they are what will—when the time is right {and boy, there’s so much time}—attract a man worthy of your attention, more than any short skirt or tight t-shirt ever would.

Hold those thoughts and dreams in high regard. Hold yourself in high regard.

Act {and dress} accordingly.

And another thing …

3. Your tush is not a billboard. I’m serious.

Stop acting like it is. If someone wants to know where you got your clothes, I’m sure they’ll ask you.

Putting words on your backside draws attention where it doesn’t need to be. And if that’s where their attention is, they’re not looking in your eyes and hearing what you have to say.

What a loss.

4. Don’t give in to the drama.

Some girls have a tendency to create drama out of nothing. Don’t participate. Even if the drama queens are trying to bait you into it.

You’re better than that.

5. Be mindful of your words.

Seriously, ladies, will you stop speaking like you just walked off the docks? Whore? Really?! And it blows my mind that you use that with your friends.

Realize that your words mean something, and they reflect you. Choose them wisely. Be sure they serve to uplift. This is a life lesson that will carry you far.

6. High school will end.

If you were a big fish, hopefully you earned that role based on character. If not, you’d better get real now.

If you were a small fish, enjoy the fact that the playing field will soon be leveled. The world is full of small fish, and we do just fine.

Better than fine, actually.

I could go on and on about this, but I won’t. I’m hoping you moms, aunts, friends, etc. out there will share this with a young gal you love, and if I say too much, I know they’ll tune me out.

Please add your own empowering words … what would you like to say to the tweens, teens, and 20-somethings in your life? What do you know now that you wish you’d known then?

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Comments

  1. Thank You so much for posting this. It SO needed to be said. And I know quite a few young ladies that should read it too.
    I think youth is deaf, though, and they are so convinced that they know what it’s all about and we don’t. How could they ever listen?
    I am sharing this!!
    Thank YOU!
    Tara Denny just wrote this gem …GlowMy Profile

    • Thank YOU for sharing it, Tara. And I agree: youth can be deaf if they don’t want to hear it. I know I was at times. But if there’s an eager heart among them wondering “Can this be different? Do I have to do this? {Whatever “this” is to them at any given moment…}, we owe it to them all to be their champions and say “Yes! Yes, it can!”

  2. It was beautiful to the read the first and still as powerful and beautiful the second. Great reminder, my wise friend Michelle. I am going to share this for sure! <3 Francesca
    Francesca just wrote this gem …Empty your cupMy Profile

  3. Couldn’t agree with you more Michelle. I am raising a daughter and I have to admit, it frightened me when we first found out she was a girl. Just because. I was cool with my sons, but a girl? I know what that’s like–growing up a girl–and I…didn’t want to “mess” her up. And of course all of my fear about raising a daughter stemmed from my own insecurities. But I’m really proud to say I’m three years into being her mom and A LOT of that fear has subsided. Probably because I’ve realized something important. I’ve learned that I can’t teach her emotional intelligence. I have TO BE IT. (And of course that goes for my boys too.) To the best of my ability I have to model strength, courage, inner beauty, kindness, compassion–and so on. Thanks for this post. It needed to be said. For all of our girls!
    Sarah @sundayspill just wrote this gem …the sunday spill–it’s in the airMy Profile

    • So beautifully put, Sarah … “I can’t teach her emotional intelligence. I have to be it.” Wow. You said it, sista. As a loyal reader of your blog, I can say: you do just that!

  4. This is amazing! Thank you for sharing, truly powerful! Also thanks for linking up! Have a great week!
    Rachel just wrote this gem …Opinions: I Would be Fuc*ed Without SpellcheckMy Profile

  5. What a lovely site!! Im here from the link up and Im following you with BlogLovin!! Would love it if you would follow back http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/3811068/bohemian-treehouse/follow!!
    So glad I will be able to keep up with you. Thanks for the words of wisdom today!!
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  6. I feel the same way, these teens… I thought they were bad when I was in school not that long ago.
    I’m following you back from Tuesday tango 🙂
    Kendra@ A Proverbs 31 Wife just wrote this gem …Sometimes I’m forgetful + Tuesday Tango.My Profile

  7. Yes, yes, yes! So many things here that young girls need to hear! Thanks for sharing this, friend. 🙂
    Rach just wrote this gem …Pizza Pasta and One Hour Rolls!!My Profile

  8. Amen. I’m with you on every word of this. xo
    Lisa Rae @ smacksy just wrote this gem …Last NightMy Profile

  9. Very heartfelt, Little Light–and exactly why I don’t friend my gorgeous 20 year old Brazilian babysitter on Facebook!

  10. I shared this earlier today – it is so absolutely perfect. I wish I had something to add but you covered everything I’d ever want to say.
    Tricia just wrote this gem …One month to goMy Profile

  11. This is the best post. I’m going to share it with my sister because she’s expecting twin girls. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog earlier today! 🙂
    Erin @ The Grass Skirte just wrote this gem …Convenient healthy snacks (and a giveaway)My Profile

  12. Such great advice! I only have boys and it’s times like this that I’m happy about that.
    Stacie just wrote this gem …Expensive TasteMy Profile

  13. LOVE this. As the mom to three such girls, you are singing my song and it’s one I sing to them every chance I get. My other big “line” is “never let someone else define who you are”. There are so many messages out there and so few are good. They’re pulled in every direction and pushed to question everything we’ve taught them. And I think that ones for our daughters AND our sons.
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  14. I LOVE this! Another great post, Michelle! Thank you.
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