10 Things I Want To Tell Teenage Girls, by @kateeconner
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Young Americans
All ten things are well-put, and tell teenagers to respect themselves:
If you choose to wear shirts that show off your boobs, you will attract boys. To be more specific, you will attract the kind of boys that like to look down girls’ shirts. If you want to date a guy who likes to look at other girls’ boobs and chase skirts, then great job; keep it up. If you don’t want to date a guy who ogles at the breasts of other women, then maybe you should stop offering your own breasts up for the ogling. All attention is not equal. You think you want attention, but you don’t. You want respect. All attention is not equal.
This is worth repeating: All attention is not equal.
Kate's main point is You have innate value. You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are enough.
Now, behave like you believe it.
I like her overall message, but I don't necessarily agree with the If you choose to wear shirts that show off your boobs bit because for some (un)lucky people, it doesn't matter what you wear the boobs are evidently there, even if you try hiding them underneath layers of baggy and/or unattractive clothing. Yes, you want respect, but to get it you have to respect you first. The biggest hurdle with respecting yourself is coming to peace with the various pieces of your body, especially those that cause you discomfort because you just know that even though it's summer and 100+ degrees, the body you've managed to grow into is going to be ogled if you step outside in shorts and a tanktop. At which point you kind of have to override the part of your brain that makes you care about what other people think, because you can't care about what other people think when the alternative is you being miserable.
What takes time is just being comfortable in your own skin, which is what everyone seems to struggle with on some level.
Well said, Liz.
Teenagers in particular struggle to be comfortable in their own skin, which is probably why she took a more extreme point of view -- so they think more carefully about what they're doing.
Being self-aware is a good step on the path to self respect.