10 Tips for teenage girls.

Today is International Day of The Girl. Well done you all get ponies! Ok you don’t but it is an important day, and to mark it I thought I’d put together a handy list, I’m not an expert – I’m probably the opposite of that. You can try some of these things or none of them, but I hope it helps you in some small way.

1. Be kind and don’t take shit from anyone. If you hear someone say something offensive, sexist, racist or just plain gross to you or someone you care about, don’t laugh it off, tell them off. My darlings, we must stop casual, low lying sexism/racism where it starts.

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2. Be brave with your self, say YES to LIFE! Back yourself in, take chances and try rad things way out of your comfort zone.

(I’m talking art classes, travel, music, mountain biking, dancing, singing, painting, acting and building. Not… you know… Animal sacrifice, straight vodka and illegal street racing.)

3. Pick great friends, avoid drama queens and drainers. Pick mates who cheer you on and fill you with energy, not suck it out of you. Also, BE a great friend. Don’t ever set out to make someone feel less than, add to people’s lives.

4. Look after your body. Nourish it, water it and exercise it. I get how much of your brain space is taken up worrying about how you look. The message I should be giving you is that it’s really only your magnificent brain that counts, and it is; but I’m also realistic and I know how much pressure you may feel to look a certain way. So give yourself the best shot and be kind to your bod – it’ll be kind right back, I promise.

5. If you’re on the precipice of a complete emotional breakdown and feeling REALLY shitty, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Am I tired?
  • Have I eaten enough?
  • Am I thirsty?
  • When did I last exercise?
  • What is coming up for me that I’m worried about?

Then sit down and have a hot drink. There’s a 90% chance you’ll feel better, but if you don’t, tell someone. Tell a trusted friend or adult; it’s not a weakness to ask for help, it’s about the strongest and most brave thing you can do. Your mental health is so important, look after it.

6. Consent – SAY IT WITH ME! Listen to that inner voice. If a situation feels dangerous or uncomfortable and your boundaries are not being respected  – SPEAK UP. If you’re with a person who is trying to be sexual with you, I mean kiss, touch, hug or something more, and you don’t want them to, say so. Their feelings may be hurt for a few minutes but that is preferable to you being forced to do something you don’t want to do. The reverse is also true, if someone says no to you, respect that and them.
Photo by Cecile Hoodie

7. Remember to look up, not through. Viewing the world through your social media can narrow it to a point where you may start to feel suffocated by it. Don’t believe the hype, people only put their highlight reels online. Look up more than you look down, and figure things out for yourself.

8. Avoid plastic bra straps and wear underwear that breathes, your vagina deserves love and care. While we’re down there, get to know your vagina! It’s not some unspoken, mystical dark place. If things aren’t right with it, tell your Mum, Dad, Sister, a trusted relative or go to a doctor. Also, don’t mess too much with your pubic hair or eyebrows.

9. Try not to spend too much time watching boys do stuff – make sure you get out and do it yourself. Make music, play sport, build things, write; do it yourself. Don’t be relegated to a spectator.

10. Who you are is exactly right. That includes who you’re attracted to. If you like girls: great, boys: great, both: great, no-one: great. It’s all good, don’t let other people’s hang-ups and issues with sexuality mess with your sense of self.

Ladies, I remember how tough it was being a teenage human person. I think now with social media you have it even tougher than I did in the 90’s. But I do remember feeling as though the whole world was against me, like my heart may explode from pain and that no-one understood who I really was or wanted to be. If you only take one piece of advice from me it’s this: Trust your gut, it’s the first voice you hear and it’s usually right.

Yeah, puberty was TOUGH for me y’all. I feel you.

 I love the next generation of girls, I have two of them and I’m excited about what’s coming for you. But I just wanted you to know that I’m here and happy to help, should you need me.

My contribution to the next generation!

Love your pal,

P.S – I was lucky enough to record an episode of the ABC’s Fierce Girls podcast. You can listen to it here.

21 responses to “10 Tips for teenage girls.”

  1. Thank you!!!! I have been trying to tell my kids for years these things (all bar the vagina points for my boys) but maybe they’ll listen if it comes from you. You are doing an amazing job in every aspect of your life (even though it may not feel like that at times). Sometimes we all just need to be told how much we are doing right.

  2. Absolutely loved this em have an 18 going on 19yo daughter and this just made me cry
    It’s brilliant
    Thank you
    PS met you long time ago when my youngest daughter was in PMH back in Perth you were beautiful to both my girls and ill never forget it

  3. This is the best thing I have ever read. I’m always worried about how I look and never wanting to play sports infront of people but reading makes me not care what others think of me. Thank you so much!

  4. I love that you’ve done this Em. I love that you are honest and say it the way it is. Your girls will be forever grateful to you for being you. Sending you love and a hug.

  5. Bloody hell Em, this is magnificent! Surely here’s a tour in this content alone. The heartfelt and well informed advice, horror stories, funny stories and everything in-between would make for a show mums and dads alike would be desperate to get their ears around! Love it xx

  6. Hi Em. 1st of all thank you for just being you & for that you are one of the small day to day regulars that keeps my daughter laughing & sane. She’s 28 & her & I along with her 2 brothers have been through a fair bit of shit over the last 17yrs. In a nut shell her father sexually abused her oldest 1/2 brother. Both boys went off the rails & she was always there for me while I was trying to keep it together for the boys. We all sat in court & watched this monster get sentenced to jail 10yrs after the 1st incident occurred. Sexual abuse is like a cancer. If you let it it will eat away at your soul, not just the victim but family members as well.
    But through all the shit she’s just kept smiling & I know she has done it tough & she probably hasn’t told me everything. She often tells me about your radio program & what you say. She went to your show at the opera house alone because none of her (so called) friends would go with her but she had the best time. Margo (daughters name) is my best friend & through all the shit we just make each other stronger. Without rambling too much thank you again for helping Margo get through some pretty tough days & because I love her so much, she just keeps me going on those bad days as well. Xx PS. Love this article. Teen girls haven’t changed much but at least now they have access to the right information.

  7. That was beautiful to read
    Not too long
    Straight to the point yet covered everything EVERYTHING I would want my daughter and every young girl to read.
    You are smart and clever Em.
    Thankyou for writing and sharing this

  8. Can’t wait to read this to my 15 year old daughter and 13 yr old son in the morning. So cool and relatable Em. How lucky your daughters are to have an amazing mum who spreads so much love and positive vibes throughout their world. Xx

  9. Yassss Queen, Love this!
    I hope I can raise my girl to be strong, fierce and a fucking legend like you, but like also unique. You get me right?!

    Also P.S…Please never stop writing, I love your words. They speak truth and love and everything the world needs.

    P.P.S. Leopard print is life.

    ❤️❤️❤️

  10. Awesome advice Em – I love it all. And thanks for your episode of Fierce Girls. My son (9) and daughter (8) were so excited to see there were new episodes, and they LOVED your narration (great fierce girl to narrate as well – what a badass 💪).

  11. Ugh! I wish I had I had this list when I was going through puberty! It’s such a rough time and you go through so much! Not just physically and mentally but also from other people! The amount of horrible situations and comments that I wish I had the guts to stand up and say were wrong but was told to “laugh it off” or “just hug him,it will be over in a minute” is ridiculous! Please girls! Never sit back, and never stand by! Live your life!

  12. Love it!! Will be saving this for my strong, funny, whip-smart and currently 3.5 year old daughter who, at the moment, seems to be raising me! 😂😂

  13. Sorry for being the lone bloke to post so far. But being one of three boys – no sisters – and now father of a 13 yo girl – this is what every Dad should read too. Power to our girls. Thank you Em.

  14. Please do your blog via podcast it isnt that same reading it as in hearing you deliver it. Miss hearing you on the radio and so do my girls 13 and 9. You are world changer to what you deliver to the younger girls. You make us all feel great make us laugh say what we are all thinking so we know we are not alone. And then have a great way of saying what should be said and advice for the kids. Please bring a podcast to our ears inappropriate jokes and all laughs giggle sadness emotion. We miss you on the radio 🙂

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