The POWER Of The Teenage Girl

Teenage girls are the most powerful demographic in the world. Not only because we make up a large portion of society but simply because of the ways we exist, how we treat people, how we express our love for things and how we act upon injustice.
Society has got teenage girls wrong. As one myself, I can confidently say that the world has such a warped view of me. Society wants me to feel bad for being a teenage girl, as if it's something I ought to be ashamed of, as if this thing I can't help and, actually, rather enjoy, is wrong. It has labelled me and made assumptions of me that I am unable to shake but, those who see teenage girls as nothing more than weak, uneducated, superficial, naive little girls are missing out on the greatest group of people you could ever wish to meet.

I challenge you to find me a group in society more loving and supportive than teenage girls. You only need to scroll through Instagram to see how much they adore one another. Teenage girls dedicate their lives to complimenting one another, lifting each other up, motivating both friends in times of need and helping strangers through hardships. If you're looking for a self-esteem boost, head to a teenage girl. They have a whole repertoire of compliments ready to dish out to anyone willing to receive one and, if you aren't willing to take the compliment, they'll repeat it over and over until you do and until you realise your worth. Teenage girls, without realising it, keep the world functioning in little ways every day. They hand out tampons and sanitary towels to people without them, they lend their friends a hair bobble, they spend hours on the phone giving boyfriend advice even if they've never had one themselves and they'll never hesitate to be a shoulder to cry on. They'll give so much time consuming help when a friend is struggling with her homework because, in the eyes of a teenage girl, when their friend fails, they fail. They are very much glued together. You take on one of them and you take on them all.
Teenage girls are some of the few people who are always there. No matter what your issue is or the hour on the clock, if you need her, she's there for you. Whether you need advice, someone to make you laugh, someone to rant at or just someone to sit and eat pizza with, a teenage girl will drop everything for you.
If you are friends with a teenage girl, you are incredibly lucky. To have someone so loving and supportive in your life is a blessing. To have someone who believes in you more than you will ever believe in yourself and to have someone who is wholeheartedly in that friendship 110%, that's something you can't buy and, if you could bottle and sell the feeling of having a teenage girl by your side, it'd be flying off the shelves. A teenage girl goes into a friendship, or any form of relationship, with everything she has. She throws herself into it. To a teenage girl, a friendship is for life. Even if it doesn't end up lasting very long and ends in disaster... it's still for life.

Teenage girls are labelled as 'catty' and 'bitchy' but I see this as much more of a talent than a hindrance. Teenage girls have to tolerate so much abuse that they've built up the most powerful defence mechanisms. They know exactly how to target an enemy and find their weak spot and they know exactly how to stick up for themselves when someone tries to knock them down. Teenage girls aren't anymore 'bitchy' than teenage boys are. Society just has a vendetta against females speaking out and, more often than not, speaking the truth. Society is intimidated by the voice of teenage girls, so much so that they want to make them feel guilty for having one. Teenage girls, however, as usual, remain unfazed and unbothered. They continue to speak so unapologetically and possess a skill that will carry them through the rest of their lives, that skill being the ability to speak so boisterously yet not use their words for wider wrongdoing. With so much verbal venom within them, teenage girls could quite easily attack anyone who comes onto their path and use their words to create harm. They don't, though. They harbour their insults and words of self defence until they are desperately required and, every other time, spread nothing but positivity and kindness. Show me another group in society who holds that much verbal power yet doesn't use it to spread negativity in any way.

Teenage girls are such beautiful creatures. Beautiful on the outside, yes, but also on the inside for the fact that they are constantly striving to better themselves. Teenage girls acknowledge that they aren't perfect and so always aim to learn and grow. They evolve every day as people by educating themselves, educating others and discovering more about themselves on their journey through life. They always want to be better, which can result in teenage girls being extremely hard on themselves. There is so much social pressure on teenage girls to have life all figured out. They are held to impossibly high standards yet they still push through the barriers every day to change and shape themselves into remarkable young women. Teenage girls are reading, they're listening, they're talking, they're absorbing everything around them and appreciating the tools life has blessed them with in order to be the best versions of themselves.

Social media plays an important role in the lives of many teenage girls. They love it, they breathe it, even in spite of all the pressures it places upon them. Social media tells teenage girls they have to look a certain way and act in a particular way. Social media sites are also the perfect platform for anyone wishing to tear them down to get to them. But teenage girls continue to dominate social media and use it for good, not harm. It is indescribably impressive how teenage girls can remain such a force to be reckoned with online when fellow social media users want to make them crumble at every possible moment.

If teenage girls were to stop buying and promoting things tomorrow, countless industries would fall apart completely. Entire industries revolve around teenage girls and rely on them to keep their profits up. Teenage girls are so passionate about every little thing they love, which industries latch on to and use for their gain. If a teenage girl likes something, she likes it and she isn't afraid to scream it from the rooftops. The high street fashion and beauty industries are the giants that they are purely because of teenage girls. Teenage girls hold the key to some of the most successful businesses in the world in the palms of their hands. You only need to take a look at the music industry to realise that...

Teenage girls are so devoted to music it causes them physical pain. They become so emotionally invested in, not only their favourite songs, but the artists who created them, so much so that they've built up lives for celebrities that the girls themselves could only ever dream of living. They've transformed ordinary people, just like them, into international superstars who inhabit mansions and drive cars that could pay for their university fees ten times over. Teenage girls invest themselves fully in musicians off their own back. They don't gain much from it, other than a few good songs every now and again, but they do it because they love their favourite artist that much, they'll dedicate their lives to helping them succeed. They'll spend hours streaming songs, watching music videos, voting for awards and promoting all because they want the best life for the person who puts so much joy, through their music, into theirs. Since the 1950s, teenage girls have been responsible for the whole boy band phenomenon. From The Beatles to One Direction, teenage girls have quite literally controlled what is popular. It's a common misconception that teenage girls only like boy bands so much because they want to marry their favourite member and have their babies. Well, I hate to break it to you, misogynists, but that's far from true. Teenage girls give their whole hearts to boy bands because they feel love so much deeper than the average human being. They spend so much of their time supporting them because 1) they act as their escape from the people who love to patronise them for their interests and 2) they're bloody good people. Teenage girls want the best for those who make them happy and they pour every ounce of energy into their passions because it is the very thing keeping them alive. Most of them are probably gay anyway.

Teenage girls have good taste yet, everything they like is condemned. For some reason, something is only worthy of love and is only valid if it gets the approval of a middle aged man, which seems bizarre to me because most men I know have truly terrible taste. Teenage girls are endlessly patronised for having something that makes their lives worth living. Adults are endlessly condescending towards them and are waiting in the wings, 24/7, like hawks, just looking out for a chance to poke fun at them. But why is it so wrong for teenage girls to be so passionate? Why do we praise boys for idolising footballers yet call teenage girls 'pathetic' for idolising musicians? Why do we applaud the dedication of boys when they queue for hours on the streets for tickets for a football match yet we laugh at teenage girls when they sleep on the streets for a week in hope of getting tickets for a concert? Why do we not batter an eyelid when fully grown adults with children and responsibilities are sitting outside Apple shops, waiting for the launch of a new iPhone, for days, yet, when a teenage girl, free from adult commitments, wants to get to a concert venue an hour early with the hope of securing a spot on the front row, she needs to 'grow up?' Despite the criticism they face for their loves, teenage girls keep going. They aren't phased by the fact that people are confused by the things they're passionate about. In fact, it only motivates them to love these things even more. Older generations, men in particular, will stop at nothing to crush a teenage girl for having something she feels strongly about, rather than just allowing her to be happy and enjoy the purity of having something so magical in her life.

Older generations expect teenage girls to act like adults yet never treat them as such. They tell teenage girls to 'dress more maturely' but, when they do, they are told to 'put some clothes on.' They are told to 'settle down in a relationship' but, when they do, they are told 'there is more to life than boys.' They are told to focus on their studies but, when they do, they are told to 'stop being a nerd and go out and enjoy life.' They are told that 'it's okay to make mistakes' but, when they do, they are held to much higher standards than their male counterparts and are defined by the mistakes they made during one of the most crucial learning stages in their lives, forever. Teenage girls are endlessly told to 'grow up' yet are never given a chance to. Society polices teenage girls, acting as though this is for their own protection when, really, they're restricting them from flourishing. Society wants teenage girls to become responsible young women yet also wants them to remain little girls forever so they can be controlled like puppets, leaving teenage girls stuck in an impossible position.

Teenage girls have so much to cope with for such a young age. Not only are they expected to tolerate misogynists who want to constantly pick them apart for their interests, they have to juggle school, body image issues, bad skin, sexuality confusion, anxiety, periods, slut shaming, friendship drama, family life, work and so much more... yet they still just get on with it. It is very rare to find a teenage girl wallowing in self pity for longer than a few hours. After she's had chance to recharge her batteries, she's back out into the world, larger than life, giving it her all and taking rubbish from nobody. Teenage girls are always ploughing forwards. It's incredibly sad how teenage girls have become accustomed to such hardships. It's heartbreaking how teenage girls are just used to 'dealing with it,' but they continue to do it and they use the ignorance of their enemies and the ignorance of society to make them more determined to make something of themselves each time anyone wishes to silence them.

No matter the passion of a teenage girl, she will completely throw her all into it. No matter whether it's literature, sport, fashion or simply building up Harry Styles into the musical God-like symbol he has become, teenage girls will do everything from the soul. They don't do anything half-heartedly because, to a teenage girl, if something is worth doing, it's worth doing properly and, if you like something, you may as well go all the way when expressing that. Teenage girls are under the constant strain of having a point to prove. Everything they do is scrutinised, so it has to be good, and they invest so much of their time into their passions that failure for the world to laugh at isn't an option. They're always under a microscope, spectators waiting for them to slip up so they can say "I told you so" but teenage girls don't give them that satisfaction. They rarely falter and, when they do, they're back up and at 'em before anyone has even noticed. The tenacity and strength of the teenage girls is something everyone, of every age, ought to be mesmerised by.

Teenage girls aren't stupid. They have their heads fully screwed on and have their lives far more in tact than most adults. They're educated and they know what they want from the world. You need only take a look at a photo of a crowd from a Women's March to see an ocean of teenage girls raising both their voices and fists in the name of equality. Thanks to the ways in which they utilise both social media and education, (yes misogynists, teenage girls can enjoy both at the same time) teenage girls are so clued up on the world's problems and they are more determined than every to be the ones to solve them. They're having such a positive impact on the world every damn day yet our teenage girls are taken very much for granted. From the small acts of good they carry out to the larger things which cause more of a stir, teenage girls have achieved so much yet are given credit for very little. Yes, they are the puppet masters of popular culture but they are also so much more than that. They are pioneers. They are the future. They have hearts and brains which are going to good use. They are slowly but surely carving out a perfect future for us all. Another thing about teenage girls, all they do is for the benefit of everyone. They are the least selfish people you will ever meet, even though they have every reason to be selfish as a result of the abuse they get from society just for being who they are. Teenage girls are able to see past that abuse, though, and recognise that they have to fight for everyone in order to progress. They're the most advanced group in society in that sense. They aren't as conceited as to only solve their own issues, they want to fix the ones which affect everybody and anybody.

When teenage girls come together, magic happens and there is no greater form of teenage girl magic than that which manifests inside a concert. I am a firm believer of the fact that, if you have never been to a concert full of teenage girls, you have not lived. The electric atmosphere inside that arena or stadium as a crowd of thousands watch on in awe as their favourite musician performs isn't something I can articulate. It is simply something you have to experience for yourself. You have to be in that room and witness the light radiating from these girls' faces when the curtain drops, you have to hear the sound of their lungs bursting as they scream out the song lyrics, you have to witness their crazy dance moves, see their tears, their shaking knees and their bright eyes as everything they want in life is right there in front of them. You have to just be in that room to be in awe of the sheer love felt by these girls. They have emotions like no other yet are, somehow, able to keep their feelings inside themselves without bursting, and only unleash them at the right moment.
For many teenage girls, attending a concert is the absolute pinnacle of their existence thus far. They've probably spent hours applying their make-up, which will only be sobbed off, hours styling their hair which will be messy and sweaty by the end of the night, and weeks planning their outfit. For teenage girls, a concert is so much more than the chance to listen to music live. It's an opportunity for freedom. It's a couple of hours of them being able to be truly themselves, free from society's judgement and the shackles they place around their ankles to prevent them from flying the nest. A concert for most teenage girls is the happiest place on Earth because everyone there is just like them, looking for an outlet to be who they were born to be and live without regrets. It will undoubtedly fill anyone with a great sense of purpose to see thousands of teenage girls living unashamedly at a concert. It's such an inspiring, life-affirming event, filled with such purity and innocent happiness. It's a place of family, where each teenage girl feels connected through the fact that they are all there to have the best time. For each girl in that room, it's their night and nothing anyone could do could spoil it. Not many adults are brave enough to be themselves in a way that teenage girls are at a concert. You should never turn down an opportunity to go to one because, honestly, it's f*cking magical.

That being said, though, concerts are a bubble and teenage girls exist outside of them and deserve to be seen. They're out there, every day, smiling the biggest, laughing the loudest, crying the hardest, loving the longest and living the largest. They make every day better purely for the fact that they are existing in it. Teenage girls should restore anyone's faith in humanity because they represent all that is good about it. They are so enthusiastic about all they set their mind to, they are the most open-minded individuals, they are accepting, they are intelligent, they are kind and they don't take life too seriously. They recognise the beauty of their surroundings but also appreciate that it could all be gone tomorrow. So, they live in the moment.

God help the world if teenage girls ever realise how truly powerful they are. I doubt they ever will, but that's what makes them so special. The teenage girl is a force to be reckoned with independently but, united with her fellow teenage girls, she can truly do anything.
So, to my fellow teenage girls, continue being you. No matter how many obstacles society places in your way, no matter how much they doubt you or tell you that 'you can't,' no matter how many sexist comments you hear, how many times you have to explain yourself and no matter how many times you are ridiculed for what you love, keep going and be proud. Never apologise for who you are or what you love. I know it's hard and I know it hurts but, take it from me, you're doing a really great job.

I BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF THE TEENAGE GIRL.

Love, Emily :) xx

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