Monday, 27 October 2014
Dear Teenage Girl
Dear Teenage Girl,
I was you, once.
I understand how it feels to need the world to affirm you. I know what it is to want to fit in and look the part. I understand that the world around you sometimes dictates the way you dress and behave. And these days that pressure weighs far more heavily on your skinny shoulders than it did on mine. Everything surrounding you is screaming at you to look like a fake woman, and the screaming never stops. It reaches into your heart and twists, hard, so that eventually you give in. And you try. You try so hard. I can see that.
But, sweet girl, here's the truth. Beneath the sultry pout and the 'messed up bed hair' Facebook profile picture lies a strong, beautiful woman. Under your layers of foundation and heavy eye make-up there is a naked and raw intelligence that our world needs. Inside the body that you stare at in front of the mirror for so long, desperately trying to squeeze and tuck those gorgeous curves away, there is a confident young lady who is stretching out of her crysallis. Under the 'I want my hair to look like I've just had sex' messy hairstyle lies a brain that is crying out to be used for good purposes.
And guess what? Young men aren't actually looking for a fake woman.
Young men love your smile. It brings hope and warmth. They're not bothered about whether you can achieve the perfect pout.
The young men I know are searching for a girl they can cherish, just for who she is.
Young men are looking for a girl they can put the world to rights with not a poster girl.
Young men are looking for a girl who is beautiful in her vulnerability and strong in her resolution.
Young men are not looking for a girl who can't leave the house without make-up. Rather, they want to love a girl for her naked confidence.
Young men are looking for a girl who can throw her head back and laugh with abandonment, unconcerned about the whiteness of her teeth.
Young men love your curves. They're not interested in whether your bum squishes out or whether you have draped your half -naked body across a screen in an attempt to find favour.
Young men want to hold your hand and love your heart. They see beyond the mask you paint over yourself and they are in awe of who you really are.
And if they don't want all these things, are they really the ones you want to give your heart and your body to?
So, beautiful girl, you can give up trying. Just stop.
Breathe a sigh of relief.
All you need to be is the courageous, clever, funny and beautiful girl you were made to be.
And then wait.
Wait for the one you don't have to try for.
He's worth the wait, I promise.