Have you ever said, or heard, this: ‘I get along better with guys than girls’? Sometimes it feels all too common for teenage girls not to get along with other girls. Maybe because we’ve all had to deal with a stereotypical ‘mean girl’. Maybe because girls often judge other girls based on their own battles with low self-esteem, jealousy or expectation. It can be difficult to be a teenage girl. Which is why we need to stick together and support each other. It’s not too complicated.
of Australian teenage girls opt out of important life activities – such as trying out for a team or club, and engaging with family or loved ones – when they don’t feel good about the way they look.
will stop themselves from eating or will otherwise put their health at risk if they aren’t happy with the way they look
Here are some of the ways we help girls support girls. You can do it too!
It is a wonderful feeling when you’re genuinely happy with your body shape and size. However, it is all too common for girls to wish they had a different body shape. That comes from stylising in the media, from comments around them (even well-meaning comments) and other girls. It can be super hard to love yourself and not criticise yourself too harshly. Not everyone might be feeling as secure as you with their body image so make allowances for that.
It usually doesn’t make anything better by talking about other girls being too fat or too skinny. It is natural for weight to fluctuate with stress, sickness, growing cycles, the time of the month and more. Someone’s appearance and weight is simply not an interesting conversation topic. We’ve all weighed more or less at different times of our lives. That is life. Focus on remembering that all bodies are different and all bodies are beautiful.
Even with our closest friends and family, we never really know what’s going on with that person. We tend to look at the outside of a girl – their appearance – and make quick judgements about their mood, attitudes, diet, wealth and more. We’re quick to make assumptions which fill in the gaps of what we don’t know for sure. Resist that quick judgement. You don’t know if someone has put on bright pink lipstick because they love the colour, or because they just failed an exam and want a pick-me-up or because their brother dared them to wear their Nana’s lipstick all day for $100. You don’t know, so resist judging. Instead, practice giving the girls around you the space to simply be who they are. No judgement.
It is human nature to feel jealous of others. Especially if the object of our jealousy has things we perceive we want to have too. Jealousy is also a stress response which means if you’re worried or anxious, it is likely to double up the stress and anxious feelings. Jealousy can make you feel bitter, stressed and over-anxious about friendships and relationships. It can make you over-analyse yourself and isolate you because you get caught up in wanting what others have. Unfortunately, the person most likely to be hurt by jealousy is you. If you feel jealousy rising in you, try not to act your feelings. Give yourself some space and time to catch your breath and think through what you’re feeling.
Sometimes it feels really easy to compete with girls instead of supporting them on their journey. ‘If only I had blonder hair’ I’d be as popular as her. ‘If only I had bigger boobs’ he’d look at me. ‘I wish my teeth were whiter’. You know what? You are who you are. You are beautiful as you are and that is unique and special to you.
“You are who you are. You are beautiful as you are and that is unique and special to you.”
Helping girls between the ages of 13 and 19 years old combat low self-esteem, depression, support other girls and more is the expertise of the Life Changing Experiences Foundation. To learn more about how we work to change the lives of teen girls who’re struggling in our community, visit our home page http://www.lifechangingexperiences.org/
Or visit our resources for teenage girls page for more information on organisations that help teenage girls that are struggling with issues such as low self-esteem, eating disorders, mental health, suicidal thoughts and many more.
Our charity is 100% community funded. Whether you’re able to share time, a professional skill or a donation, we need your help to continue offering our programs to disadvantaged teens.