Letter To A Teen Girl

Dear Teen Girl,

I know it’s easier said than done, but please: Stop.

Stop spending an hour on your hair every morning. Stop second-guessing everything you wear. And, for the love, stop smearing so much makeup all over your pretty face.

Nope, I’m not making fun of you, although I know most of my “Letters” are pretty snarky. I’m writing this to you because I want you to know how little it matters. All of it. The hair, the clothes, the makeup. And I’ve got some other things to talk about, too.

That boy you’re dating? The one who asks how you are as an afterthought? The one who acts like he’s doing you a favor by going out with you? DUMP HIM. You’re better than that, and the fact that you continue to put up with him makes me sad. So, so sad.

Yeah, I know the girl next to you is wearing Target and you’re wearing Ralph Lauren. So what? Clothes are clothes. Maybe your family has more money than hers, but that doesn’t mean you’re any happier than she is. I know it’s cliché, but seriously, money doesn’t make everything okay. Why don’t you try talking to her? She might be just the friend you’re looking for.

Speaking of clothes, let’s talk about the low-cut shirts and skin-tight pants you’ve been showing up in lately. What gives? Don’t you know you’re worth more than that? Please show yourself the respect you deserve and wear something modest. I’m not saying you have to dress like a nun, but it would be nice to see guys looking at your face every once in a while.

If you would stop for just a second – just one second – and take a look at how beautiful you are, you would see the vanity of it all. No, there’s nothing wrong with straightening your hair. There’s nothing wrong with makeup or cute clothes.

I just want you to ask yourself: Why?

Do you look a certain way because it makes you feel good, or because you want to impress everyone around you? Do you wear makeup because it’s fun or because your boyfriend told you it makes you look better? And as for that low-cut shirt, there’s really no good reason for it, so I have to guess that you’re wearing it to get attention.

Do you really want that kind of attention?

Really?

You should never, ever worry about impressing the other kids at school. They’re all too worried about themselves to notice you. Be who you are, and be proud of it.

Love,

Mrs. Riley

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16 thoughts on “Letter To A Teen Girl

  1. heather says:

    wow sad thing is it starts in 1st grade sometimes even younger. I remember my son wanted a kermit backpack in 1st grade and he was teased like crazy for have a baby backpack. Great letter hope that even one person gets something from it.

    • Anne Riley says:

      I *hate* peer pressure of any kind. It makes me ill to watch my students feel like they have to act a certain way to avoid being teased. And first grade!! Oh, man…

  2. Alissa says:

    Loved this letter. Especially this part:
    You should never, ever worry about impressing the other kids at school. They’re all too worried about themselves to notice you.

    • Anne Riley says:

      So true, isn’t it? And it transfers to adulthood, too. I used to feel awkward at social events if I didn’t know anyone. Now I stand by myself and watch people, and guess what? Nobody looks at me funny, and eventually I make a new friend.

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