A Love Letter To Teenage Girls

Hello lovely souls,

My name is Olivia, and while I’m not currently a teenage girl myself, I was one not so long ago. And I have some things I’d like to tell you.

First, know that you are brilliant.

Maybe you’re a brilliant writer, mathematician, engineer, or make up artist. But I promise you, you are brilliant. I don’t have to see you, I don’t have to meet you –I just know it.  

Sounds cheesy right? Trust me. I know. But t’s true.

Unfortunately, so are the bad bits.

Because, in case you haven’t already started to feel it, as you get closer to being an adult (whatever that means), the world has an uncanny way of morphing around you. You begin to understand that life isn’t always sunshine and butterflies, and the prince or princess  who is supposed to save the day is often the one who ruins it.

To top it off, you are growing into a woman–and while this is an incredibly precious and fierce thing to be–it also makes you subject to elements of life that are excruciatingly unfair.

So I’d like to offer an apology: I am sorry for the way the world will react to the changes happening in your body.

I’m sorry for the boys and the men who will stare at your breasts instead of looking into your eyes.

I’m sorry for the people who will use your physical features as a measure of your intelligence.

I’m sorry that the way you choose to decorate and dress your body is a topic of public conversation and judgment.

I’m sorry for those who will tell you your body is too tall or too short, too fat or too skinny, too dark or too pale, too gay or too girlie.

I’m sorry for a society that raises boys to believe believe that your no can mean maybe, and that your yes makes you easy.

And I’m sorry for the brutal retaliation that can occur when you exercise your right to say no.

That’s the part I’m most sorry for.

But I have good news for you. Remember that cheesy part earlier? The part where you’re brilliant? That might sound cliche, but I promise you it’s true. And there’s more:

You are powerful beyond measure. Powerful beyond your wildest dreams. So powerful, in fact, that the entire structure of our society has been programmed to convince you that you’re not. Because you know what happens when they don’t?

Wonder Woman.

That’s what happens.

And Wonder Woman is amazing because she has Amazonian super powers and was raised by a tribe of badass women.

But you know something else? You know who comes out of a society that is constructed to keep them down?

Beyonce.

That’s who.

And Beyonce is amazing because she grew up in Houston, and she has a voice for days, and she has risen up despite a world that is absolutely hell bent on keeping her down.  

So my loves, please know that Wonder Woman or Beyonce aren’t the only ones capable and of rising from the ashes, saving the world, and kicking ass. You are too. 

And, if you look around, I promise you will find a tribe of women who are ready to help you soar. You might have to squint, open some doors that might be a little scary, but I promise you we are here, and we’ve got you.

You are never alone.

Don’t give up.

We love you.

Hugs,

Olivia  

Olivia Howard

Olivia Howard

Olivia is a somewhat single twenty something living in New York City (ok, Brooklyn) and fresh off of completing her Master’s Degree in English Literature at NYU. She is the oldest of four and a Navy Brat. An Austen, Bronte, and Morrison devotee, you can most likely find her procrastinating by reading Harry Potter or trying to become motivated by channeling her inner Lorelai Gilmore (aka drinking too much coffee). Olivia prides herself on the simple fact that she cares a lot. About everything. All the time. And is currently trying to come to terms with the fact that being an adult is hard, Trump is President, and that racism is still a thing. Let's do what we can to make the world a little brighter friends. Thanks for reading.
Olivia Howard
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