Monday, May 11, 2015

Ten Things Every Teenage Girl Should Know

Here is the brilliant Caitlin Moran, author of "How to Build a Girl," with ten things every teenage girl (and every woman) should know. Please share this with every girl you know:

10 Things Every Teenage Girl Should Know

1. Self-loathing is the default mode of the teenage girl. You are not alone in this. Contrary to what you think, it’s nothing to do with how fat your legs are, or the unmanageability of your hair. You are self-loathing because you are turning into a woman – and this seems, to a 13-year-old girl like something exhausting, joyless and high-maintenance, for which you will constantly be judged. And you are right. By and large, that’s exactly what being a woman is right now.
2. But you don’t need to be like those women. You can choose what kind of woman you want to be. And if that kind of woman doesn’t exist, you reply “That kind of woman doesn’t exist – yet.” “Yet” is going to be a useful word for you. “The world isn’t like that… yet.” “People don’t do things like that… yet.” As a teenage girl – as the future – YOU are the “yet”. You are the one who gets to invent the future. You are the one who gets to invent new women. The kind of women you’d be excited to be. Refer to this process as “the revolution”, for short, because it sounds more exciting. You want the future to be exciting.
3. Start the revolution with you. If you’re self-loathing, invent a “you” you don’t loathe, instead. Imagine the thing you would want to be – then be it. Make yourself your own project/pet/pretend best friend. Pretend to be confident, happy, relaxed and you’ll soon realise there’s no difference between pretending these things and actually being them. Wear a silver cape. Be obsessed with geology. Don’t speak until 11am. Intend to be the worlds first Girl Beatle. Learn what every drag queen before you knew: fake it till you make it.
4. Your key hobbies need to be long country walks (get some fresh air in your lungs), masturbation, and the revolution. Between those three, you should, in the long term, stay relatively sane.
5. Don’t cut your own fringe. It is far, far more difficult than you could ever imagine.
6. For that matter, don’t cut anyone else’s either. Good friendships have ended that way.
7. Every time your heart gets broken, breathe deep – it grows bigger as it mends. Imagine each line of red scar tissue on it with pride – the same pride you’ll one day have for the stretch marks on your belly, after having a baby. Skin and hearts year to make great things. Don’t be afraid.
8. And if your mind tears, do not fear that, either. Depression takes off a layer of skin, so accept that you feel more of the world than most people. Did you hear what I said? YOU FEEL MORE OF THE WORLD THAN MOST PEOPLE. That’s amazing. And anxiety works like electric in your bones – it keeps you wakeful and driven, so use those extra hours, those extra, sleepless days, that your poisoned adrenaline is giving you. You are living longer. You live in double time. Insist that that’s a blessing. Fake that until you make that, too.
9. When in doubt, listen to David Bowie. In 1968, Bowie was a gay, ginger, bonk-eyed, snaffle toothed freak walking round South London in a dress, being shouted at by thugs. Four years later, he was still exactly that – but everyone else wanted to be like him too. If David Bowie can make being David Bowie cool, you can make being you cool. PLUS, unlike David Bowie, you get to listen to David Bowie for inspiration. So you’re one up on him, really. YOU’RE ALREADY ONE AHEAD OF DAVID BOWIE.
10. Go out there and change the world, so it works for you and every girl like you. I know you will.


Lou said...

Thank you for this! I have a teenage girl and my God we need all the help we can get! Lou x

Katherine C. James said...

Wonderful, Bumble. Thank you. I will share, and ask that it be shared further. xo.