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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Love your pal,