Monday, June 11, 2012

a girl called amy

{photo via weheartit}
I met someone the other day. Someone who caused me to really stop and think about a few things.

No, it wasn’t a boy. Nor was it some strange fortune teller that bestowed age old wisdom upon me.

It was a little girl. Her name was Amy.

She was bouncy and happy and innocent. {Think Ramona Quimby people.}  She plopped herself down next to me, a complete and total stranger, and told me that I had “pretty hair.” I asked her what her name was, and after she introduced herself, she asked me to push her on a swing. {Did I mention that we were at a park?} After she was done swinging, she thanked me, and then raced off.

When she left with her grandparents about two hours later, she skipped over to me, and said goodbye.

“What’s your name again?” She asked, a quizzical look spreading across her face.

“Abigail.” I replied.

“Oh, I like it. It’s pretty.”

“Thank you, your name is very pretty too.”

And with that, she took her grandpa’s hand, swinging it as she walked with him to the car.

As she left, I was almost in awe of how innocent she was. Here was a six-ish girl, who’s biggest concern in life was probably when she’d lose her first tooth. She was not self-conscious, and felt comfortable enough to sit by a strange teenager, and compliment said teen on her hair.

I shudder when I think of what she’ll be going through in ten years from now. She’ll no longer be the same naive, sweet little girl. She will either become a part of, or have to navigate through all the drama crap that comes with high school. She’ll be faced with the pressure to have a boyfriend, and submerged in a society that is constantly telling her that she is not good enough.

And it’s likely that most of her female peers will be “confirming” the lies that society will be telling her:

You’re not pretty enough. You’re fat. Who could ever like you?

Not that they will say such things directly to her, necessarily. After all, that’s not how the ‘mean girls’ work, now is it? No, of course not. After all, destroying a girl’s self-esteem is harder when looking her in the eye, and generally not considered socially acceptable. It’s  sneakily done behind the girl’s back -- through gossip, exclusion, and slander. A little dig here, a little dig there.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know many, many girls who are not in any way ‘catty.’ In fact, I have the privilege to know many ‘drama free,’ mature, and thoughtful girls.

But that doesn’t seem to erase the fact that we {girls} seem to have a problem. Why can we be so quick to tear each other down? Are we so insecure and consumed with jealousy that we must build ourselves up by destroying someone else? Is it the drive for male attention? Do we really envy what other girls have that much?

Honestly, I’m not sure. It’s probably a combined force of both reasons, plus many others. But does that justify our actions? No, of course not.

Now, I wish that this wasn’t the case. I wish that our gender didn’t feel the need for a proverbial ‘pecking order,’ and I wish that there would cease to be competition between everyone. Unfortunately though, that is not possible. As one of my favorite books so elegantly puts it; “the world is not a wish granting factory.” We don’t always get what we want. In fact, more often than not, we don’t. Life isn’t fair.

But what do you do if you find yourself the victim of cattiness? Ready for some amazing, life-changing advice? {I hope you sense the sarcasm. :P} Simply be yourself. Shrug it off, be confident, and go about your business. I know it might hurt now, but it’s probably not worth retaliating. And trust me, responding with kindness is much more effective. Just keep calm and carry on.

And if you are the ‘mean girl’ then please take this to heart: You. Are. Beautiful. You have no reason to be jealous of or feel threatened by any other girl. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Remember Amy? Let’s try to keep her sweet and innocent for as long as possible.

~ Abby

9 comments:

TessieB said...

i love this <3
thank you.

Jana said...

Very lovely. I wish all teenage girls could read this...
:)

Marcia said...

oh this is so sweet.

Katherine T. said...

First off, your writing style is inspired. I am falling in love with it more and more each time I read a post.

I find this post very thought provoking and sweet. But most important; It's HONEST. In every sense of the word.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

Abby said...

Thank you all. :)

And Katie, that means so very much. Thank you.

Leah E. said...

Aww! This is such a sweet post.
So true, and great reminder! <3

Orla Harrington said...

Thank you for writing this. And thank you for visiting my blog so that I could find yours. :) I am definitely your newest follower, I am hooked on your words already! Wow.

Emma said...

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Em

shelly said...

That's such a cute pic.