It’s International Women’s Day today, and I’ve been watching my newsfeed fill up with various blogs, statement and press articles.
Some have written letters to their young self - some are heartbreaking, others are practical feminist rhetoric.
I don’t want to write a letter to my young self - my young self is now deliberately and firmly in the past and is best to remain there. I have a future to think about!
But there are bits of advice I would want to give to girls today, based on what I constantly see around me - there could be more, but I’ll restrict them for now:
Be a girl - if you want to be a girly girl, wear pink dresses and play with dolls - do that. Challenge those who say you shouldn’t.
Be a girl - if for you that means wearing jeans, climbing trees, playing with toy soldiers and avoiding craft like the plague - do that. Challenge those who say you shouldn’t.
Be a girl - if that looks like a mix of the above - do that. Challenge those who say you shouldn’t.
Be a girl - follow God, read your Bible, pray, and grow up to be the woman God wants you to be, in all the freedom that brings. Challenge those who say you shouldn’t
Be a girl - if you want to wear makeup as you get older, learn how to do it well. But don’t do it because everyone else is. If you don’t want to wear it - then don’t. Challenge those who say you should or shouldn’t.
Be a girl - wear nice things, because YOU want to wear them, not because someone has told you this is what you should wear. Develop the style you want - plain or colourful, comfort style or or smart. Be you. Challenge those who say you shouldn’t.
Be a girl - remember that your beauty and self worth doesn’t lie in how you do your eyebrows, what clothes you wear, how you do your hair or what you have seen on the TV or internet. Challenge those who say you have to be a certain way.
Be a girl - whoever you ‘go out’ with, be wise. Choose a Godly person who will respect you. You have a choice in how that relationship develops. Just because your friends have kissed… or more, it doesn’t mean you have to. Challenge those who say you should have.
Be a girl - this doesn’t mean you are an object to be leered at, a person to be put down with sexist comments, or a punchbag to be hit. Challenge those who say you are.
Be a girl - it doesn’t mean you HAVE to marry, it Doesn’t mean you HAVE to have children. But if these are your dream, go for it. Challenge those who say you have to.
Be a girl - You can be what you want to be, it may mean hard work and sacrifice, but it’s worth it. You may want to be a doctor, a gardner, a professor or a shop keeper. The list is endless - whatever you want to be, go for it. Challenge those who say you can’t.
Be a girl - a strong woman of God. If you are a woman of God in a man’s world, remember to be that girl… not a male clone.
Be a girl - don’t let the world you eventually live in dictate who you are.
If you want to wear a dress - wear it.
If you want to wear bright colours - do it.
If you are by nature a gentle leader - be it.
If you are an introvert - don’t change (If you try it will crush you)
If you want to challenge unfairness - challenge it.