Being a teenage girl is incredibly difficult. There are a lot of physical and emotional changes going on, which makes the journey of figuring out who they are difficult. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of other factors making this time more complicated than it needs to be.
Button Poetry shared poet Melissa Newman-Evans' inspiring prose, "9 Things I Would Like To Tell Every Teenage Girl," which eloquently explores the trials faced by teenage girls, and provides amazing advice on how to get through this phase of life.
"One: The world is trying to kill you," she begins. While this promise might invoke mental images of walking down a dark alley, it's also a metaphor for all the ways teenage girls are persuaded to change their sense of self. There is constant pressure from the media to look and act a certain way, trying to kill the spirit of who the girl truly is in favor of something pre-packaged. The imagery of fighting to preserve a sense of self, and to maintain priorities, is carried throughout the poem.
"You are the best thing in every room," she continues, before pausing and changing tone. "You'll notice that I did not say the prettiest. You are also the prettiest thing in every room, but that sh*t doesn't matter. That sh*t is the world, trying to kill you."
She then runs down everything girls need to know about fashion.
"The best hairstyle is the one that helps you get out of bed in the morning," she states. No matter what anyone else's hair looks like, every girl needs to embrace what they like and what makes them feel good about themselves. The best brand of makeup is one that sharpens a knife for you. The best brand of denim is one that fits and goes with your combat boots."
Of course, what one girl views as combat boots, helping her fight back against the world trying to kill her, will be different from what a different girl wears. While some girls get the strength to step out into the world with actual combat boots, some girls wear sneakers, while others fight in high heels.
She touches on some of the grim realities young girls face in which being attacked is no longer a metaphor, but an unfortunate reality too many will come to know.
Newman-Evans addresses the Mean Girl attitudes, so prevalent among teenagers, by reminding girls that the only way to get through this time is to stand with their sisters, no matter who they are.
"Everyone is your sister," she demands. "The girl with the jacked-up teeth and the thrift store jeans is your sister. The girl who f*cks girls is your sister. The girl who used to be called Jake but is now called Jane is your sister. The cheerleaders who are trying so hard to kill you are still your sisters."
Bringing the poem to a close, she talks about the meaning of the word woman and what it means for those who have achieved it.
Check out her inspiring and emotionally-charged performance here:
What advice would you give to teenage girls today? Let us know in the comments!