My first full school year has a REP facilitator has been filled with up and…
Tan. Skinny. Enough makeup to cover the flaws but not enough to look fake. The puppy dog filter so that her eyes are a little bigger and her skin a little clearer. A caption that she gave more thought to than anything else that day. Maybe even a little black and white because everyone looks better in black and white, right? Putting a tongue-out emoji on the comments on a boy’s picture to flirt without being too direct. Do you know the type of the girl I’m talking about?
Maybe even are you bold enough to admit that sometimes you are the kind of girl I’m talking about? I’ll be the first to raise my hand on that one. I’m not proud of it, but sometimes I’m the girl who takes a picture just to put it on social media so other people know I’m doing great. I’ll make sure to update my story to show off that I have friends and a boyfriend and a perfect family. I’ll even be crafty enough to not like someone else’s awesome picture just because they didn’t like my last one, so why would they deserve that kind of honor? Thinking back on this, even though we do it everyday, how crazy does this sound?
Ladies, we live in a world surrounded by social media. Aka, ladies, we live in a world surrounded by the best picture of someone after they tried 20 times to get the perfect shot. We live in a world surrounded by only the best and most fun moments documented and shared with us. We live in a world surrounded by lies telling us that we are the only ones that are insecure, that are lonely, that are bored, or that are scared. We live in a world surrounded by girls who live in subtle competition.
I am here to tell you girls, after believing these things for so many years, that social media lies to you! I want to challenge you all to imagine for just a second what the world would look like if girls felt the freedom to post unfiltered, truly candid (not the “everybody laugh on 3”) photos of themselves. What if girls truly celebrated the good things about each other, knowing that saying another girl is beautiful doesn’t make you any less pretty? What if girls saw intelligence or creativity as important of a quality as physical attractiveness? What if people were willing to share the messy parts of their lives, not just the picture-perfect ones?
Society tells you that to be successful, you have to compete: for attention, for popularity, for boys, for friends. I say it’s time to tell a different story!
Ladies, today I’m challenging you find another girl and tell her one great thing about herself. Today I’m challenging you to point out something other than beauty in a friend of yours. Today, I’m challenging you to write down at least 5 things that you love about YOURSELF and walk in confidence that those things are true. Here’s to being a generation of girls and women who grow up confident, real, and celebrating each other. Its time to walk together, ladies. This one’s for the girls!
– Hannah Blaine