This piece was submitted by Emily Holland (9, MST)
One of the most prominent girl issues is self-care and accepting yourself. For female teens in 2019, self-confidence is at an all-time low, and many girls are incredibly critical of themselves. Many teens often go to lengths to change what they don’t like about themselves. It doesn’t help that at this age they go through puberty, and there is a significant spike in dating. This means that girls are more likely to inspect themselves for flaws that they can fix to get other people to accept them. It is horrible to think that someone would need to change who they are for people to like them. There is something fundamentally wrong with society when we make teen girls feel like they need to change and fix their “issues” to gain acceptance from peers. Society needs to change and allow teens to feel perfect with their own unique qualities and quirks.
In high school, there is a lot of social pressure to look, act and dress a certain way. People try to attain a particular ideal that society has deemed perfect. However, there is no such thing as being perfect. Perfection is a social construct made by industries to trick people into buying more products in a vain attempt to reach the constantly moving ideal vision in society. It is an impossible goal that continues to make people feel bad about themselves.
Self-love is the same and the opposite of perfection, depending on how you look at it. It is different because when you love yourself for how you are, you accept that you are good enough just the way you are, and you don’t need to change for others. On the other hand, it is also similar because you decide that you are perfect as you come, no changes necessary. It takes a lifetime to love yourself but only a second to criticize, so grab some snacks and a good pair of shoes because going it’s to take a while!
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Loving yourself isn’t just about mental health, it’s also about physical care. It is important that teen girls get enough sleep, eat enough food and take the time to do activities they enjoy. In high school, people get so busy with homework, extracurricular activities, clubs, and sports that they often don’t have time for themselves. Many high schoolers consistently get only two to three hours of sleep, which is not at all healthy. They may eat little to nothing at lunch, even when they have sports practice after school.
Teenage girls need to make sure they are taking good care of their bodies so that they can keep up with all of their activities. In addition to getting enough sleep and food, it is crucial for teens to take some time to relax and do things they enjoy. For example, read a book, watch some Netflix or hang out with friends. It is important to remember to have a social life, and not to spend every waking hour focused on school, clubs, and sports. Taking time to cool down and relax is important both physically and mentally. Everything in life in moderation.