There are a lot of things I wish I could go back and say to my teenage self — lots of advice and perspective I'd love to offer. And now I guess I can add Melissa Newman-Evans' poem "9 Things I Would Like to Tell to Every Teenage Girl” to the list of things that I wish I could share. Because seriously, every teenage girl deserves to hear this.
For some reason, the world in incredibly unfair to teenage girls. Despite the fact that teen girls are smart, savvy, and passionate, the entire demographic is typically written off as shallow and petty. Just about anything teenage girls are known to like is trivialized and mocked by society in general. Teenage girls have to deal with intense pressure from all sides, whether its things like appearance, grades, sex, harassment, dress codes, relationships, friendships — basically, if you're a teenage girl, you have a million reasons to feel stressed, and chances are instead of supporting you, the whole world seems intent on making you feel inadequate.
There are a lot of things I wish I could say to teenage me, and a lot of things I would like to tell girls who are teenagers today — and in this poem, which was recorded over the summer at the 2015 National Poetry Slam in Denver, Co. and recently posted to the Button Poetry YouTube Channel, Melissa Newman-Evans says several of them better than I ever could. Here are some of the things she has to say; scroll down to watch the full video. It is so, so worth it.
1. "The World Is Trying To Kill You"
"Kill it back."
2. "You Are The Best Thing In Every Room"
Never forget that.
3. "You Will Never Completely Kill The Idea That Your Body Is The Most Important Thing About You"
"That sh*t is everywhere."
4. "Wear Whatever You Want"
"You know who can fuck themselves if they don't like it? Everyone!"
5. "You Need To Hold Up Your Sisters"
The rest, you need to hear from Melissa Newman-Evans herself.