AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL OF THE GIRLS ABOUT TO GROW UP

My sweet little girls, Desiree (the human) and Isis (the chihuahua). Everything I write has a piece of Desi (and her precious brother Tim) in it. They are the great loves of my life. (Sorry, boys. She's engaged.)
My sweet little girls, Desiree (the human) and Isis (the chihuahua). Everything I write has a piece of Desi (and her precious brother Tim) in it. They are the great loves of my life. (Sorry, boys. She’s engaged.)

First of all, you are beautiful. Breathtaking. You don’t know it, but everything you do and say is absolutely perfect. Your butt is not too big. Your boobs are not too small. You are extraordinarily majestic. Someday, you will look back at the pictures of you now and see this, but today, try to take my word for it. I know. It’s hard. It’s hard because so many things are working together to make you feel shitty about yourself.

Every time you look at the airbrushed girl on the cover of that magazine, you wonder why your skin doesn’t look like that. Hers doesn’t either, beautiful girl. That’s called three hours of makeup accentuated by perfect lighting and Photoshop. And someday, you will understand that all those little things you think of as “flaws”–those acne scars, that birthmark, the way your eyes are a little too close together–are the things that make you truly beautiful. Photoshopped girls are a dime a dozen, my love. You can find these imaginary creatures anywhere, anytime, day or night. But we could search the world for a billion years and never find another perfect you, exactly as you are now.

You watch videos on Youtube, keenly aware that you might be able to fit an ankle into Ke$ha’s bikini bottoms. I don’t know anything about Ke$ha personally, but I do know that many of the women that are sucked into the Hollywood glamour machine spend hours and hours a day keeping their bodies looking like that, because real bodies, bodies that have to make time for homework and drama club, usually don’t. And yes, she is lovely, but there is nothing about her body that is prettier than yours. Humans are weird. We pick one idea of beauty and try to shove it down everyone’s throats, and then, a few years later, we change our minds. Wait. Did we say skinny is beautiful? We meant fat. Fat is beautiful. We can do that because in reality, neither is definitively more pretty than the other. The truth is, both skinny and fat are beautiful, and if you can own your body, whatever it looks like, you will be the prettiest girl in the room because nothing is more beautiful than a shining girl just being what she was born to be without apology.

And maybe some people will be too blind to see your beauty. That’s ok. Those people are on their own ride, their own trip. They are trying to figure out how beautiful they are. Let them be. Let them do what they are doing, unless they hurt you, in which case, you should feel good and free to protect yourself, because you are never required to be anyone else’s punching bag, emotionally or otherwise.

The thing that is probably making you feel really bad though is you think nobody can love you. Maybe it’s because you love someone you think you shouldn’t love, or the boy or girl you love doesn’t seem to know you exist, or maybe it’s because your parents don’t seem to have time for you, or maybe it’s because horrible things have happened to you that made you feel like damaged goods.

Listen to me: You. Are. Not. Damaged. Goods.

Have you ever watched a river run? You know how it keeps dancing and changing, but it is still always a perfect river? You are like that. You will change and dance. Things will happen to you. But no matter what is happening to you right now, you are still the most perfect you that ever existed, in the history of ever.

People do things. Awful things. Young people do awful things. Old people do awful things. But what you have to understand is that none of that has anything to do with you. You are perfectly beautiful, perfectly lovable, perfectly perfect, but people have their own shit going on. That guy who slept with you and didn’t call you the next day didn’t do it because of you. He did it because of him. He feels small and worthless, and he doesn’t know how to love himself, much less anyone else. He was trying to prove something to himself, that he was worth loving, that he had power, that he was the kind of sexy that Hollywood tells boys they have to be. (Yeah, boys have all their own shit going on. It makes them act like nutjobs sometimes. People are wonky, right? We all do crazy shit when we don’t feel loved.) I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s about him. Not you. You. Are. Perfect.

Even that guy that raped you didn’t do it because of you. He was broken, baby. Broken, broken to the core. A true, sane, seeing person would never do such an awful thing to the likes of beautiful, perfect you. But that guy doesn’t define you. None of your haters, even if you have a billion of them, define you. You know what defines you?

The sound of your laughter. The way your voice cracks sometimes when you sing. The way you bust out those bad dance moves when no one is looking. How big your heart is, the way you can open it up wide and love other people, even though it’s been broken already. How strong you are. How brave you are. How you can get up from all the most ugly things, look in the mirror, still see a speck of the true you, and go out and show the world what majesty looks like.

Excuse my french, but your “fuck you” to the darkness defines you. Because when the darkness comes in and tries to tell you you are ugly, and you are damaged, and you are worthless, you reach into the golden core of your beautiful soul, and find that pissed off part of you that knows they are all wrong about you. You say “fuck you” to the darkness, and you get up, and you dust yourself off, and you love, and you love, and you love.

Someday, fifty years from now, old versions of the people who know you now will be talking, and they will have forgotten all about the ones who were just like everyone else, the ones who didn’t dare to shine. But they will remember you, the girl who was what she was no matter what anyone said, the one who loved what she loved, the one who ate what she wanted, the one who just lived her truth.

Your beauty, your truth, and your fuck you. That is what defines you, pretty girl. That is what makes you a miracle.

It has nothing to do with bra size.

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