We've compiled a short list of things every young girl should be taught—whether from their fathers, mothers, or other caretakers and adults in their lives. What would you add to the list?
01. You are more ____ than you are “pretty.”
Pick your praise of choice. “Smart.” “Selfless.” “Strong.” You are beautiful, sweet daughter, but not because your beauty is capable of standing alone. In its entirety, all that makes you so incredibly gorgeous does not stem from your long lashes or your adorable curls but rather your impeccable way of heart. It’s important that you understand that your worth is not found in perfect skin, lovely dresses, or a delicate figure—all of which can be lost with time. Rather your advantage lies in the millions of qualities that no photo or mirror will ever capture.
02. There is no use in fretting over being “good enough” for someone.
You are not a tray of hors d’oeuvres being passed around at a party, offered to guests who get to either take you or pass you up with the shaking of their heads and a dismissal wave. Whether or not someone sees you for all that you are is not in your power—you merely have control over what you continue to see in yourself. In everyone lies the desire to share ourselves with someone special: our flaws, our quirks, our dreams, and our moments of serious contemplation. Allow your time and energy to be spent on the people who see that you are beyond “good enough,” and do not let someone’s tainted view of you cloud your own vision of yourself.
03. Putting others down will get you nowhere.
Yes, gossip is the easiest way to find common ground with another female. It’s the simplest start to a friendship, a giggle fest, and a quick burst of self-confidence. But at the end of the day you have to live with yourself, and you have to like who that person is without having those you put down around to create a sense of pride. Don’t take the easy way out; take the road that, yes, can include loneliness but ultimately builds character. Turn your cheek when someone initiates an insult, say nothing when your friends gossip about someone else in a whispered fervor. Let it hang in the air for them to reflect on the reality that what you say of another person says more about you than it says about them.
04. You don’t “owe” a guy anything.
The dating world is a mess. Many boys—though not all of them—will say and do whatever it takes to feel as if they've conquered you. They might manipulate you so that their requests seem like your own and convince you that if they don’t get what they want from you then their disappointment will become your burden. Pass these guys up, the ones who are full of smooth talk and gentle touches. Chances are that’s all they’re good at anyway. These guys will consistently leave you feeling as though you’ve given yourself away and received nothing in return, and the last thing you want is to become comfortable with that.
05. You can be delicate and strong all at once.
You possess the enigma that is encompassed by every girl. You are born this way and nothing on earth can tamper what's inside you. And yet life will give you more and more strength as you live it. It will instill power and fortification in you against your will—through painful events, heartbreaks, and tough choices. Embracing this strength does not mean leaving behind the millions of things that make you a woman. In a world that often portrays two extremes—the jaded, angry, girl who lacks light-heartedness and the silly, whimsical girl who lacks depth—it is essential that you are as multi-faceted as a diamond. Don’t allow yourself to be oversimplified.
Photo by Andrea Rose