Dear women of the future,
It’s 2018 right now, and it’s hard to imagine how the world might be for you. Thanks to a whole army of passionate, powerful women fighting for us, I think the world will be better. I hope it will be better. I hope it is a world where you can walk across the street without being whistled or shouted or beeped at, where you are not body-shamed from every magazine cover, bus advert and music video that you see, where you can walk home at whatever time of night wearing whatever you want and not feel like it’s going to be your fault if somebody sees you as a victim. I hope this is the world that you live in. The one in which you are free.
That being said, I know already that some things will be harder for you. I was the last generation to go through adolescence before social media blew up, and although I see the great positive potential of it and all that it offers, I also see the other world that it creates. The world where you are made to feel self-conscious and uncomfortable about your body just by scrolling through your phone. The world where your favourite celebrities are encouraging you to buy their products which promise to ‘fix’ all of your ‘problems’ so you can look just like them. The world where you feel your worth is valued by how many followers you have on Instagram.
But regardless of what world you end up living in, there are some things which never change, things which I want you to know and never forget. So listen up.
YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOURSELF.
You will be urged throughout your life to ‘love yourself!’ and ’embrace your flaws!’. I want this for you so badly. I want you to love every single tiny atom that makes you you and unique and beautiful. But I get it, it’s not always as simple as that. I know there will always be things you struggle with, things you dislike about your body, and that’s okay. This doesn’t mean you failed at self-love, this means you are human, with perfect imperfections just like every other person on the planet. I don’t expect you to love these things unconditionally, but I do ask that you learn not to hate them. Learn to accept them as part of beautiful you, and maybe one day, who knows? That acceptance might just turn into love.
SOCIAL MEDIA ISN’T REAL.
It’s a highlight reel, and I know that you know this. But I know you will forget, as you get lost in perfect bikini pictures and white sandy beaches wondering why your life doesn’t look like theirs. What you see on social media is not always what it seems, so don’t let it get to you. You’re smarter than that. I urge you to unfollow every single person, page and company that makes you feel like you are not good enough, even if you love them. As soon as you stop comparing your life to everyone else’s, things are going to get a whole lot better for you.
THINK ABOUT WHO YOUR ROLE MODELS ARE.
Think about who inspires you. Why do you feel this way about them? Do you aspire to be like somebody just because they look good? Or are you filled with admiration for people who are strong, confident and make the world a better place? Role models don’t have to be glossy celebrities with three houses and a private jet. They are school teachers, nurses, single parents and cancer survivors, the people you walk past every day, that you sit beside in cafes. The most inspiring and empowering woman in my life is the one that brought me into this world. Find your inspiration in real people.
ENJOY BEING SINGLE.
You know that boy or girl you think is so important right now? They’re not. Trust me. There are another 7.6 billion of those where they came from. Your person might be very special, but so are you. The time will come in your life where you will get to spend every day with the one you were always looking and hoping for. So enjoy this time alone. Spend your time and energy working on yourself, so that when you do find that someone you want to be with, you will be the best partner you can be. One of the most rewarding parts of a relationship is seeing the joy and happiness you can give to somebody by simply being yourself. Make sure you know who that is.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
I want you to know you are beautiful, in case you haven’t heard that for a while, and I want you to hear that now, from me. Why? Because I don’t want the first person to tell you this to be a guy who uses these words just to get you in his bed. When you go through your life and you hear men say these things to you, I want you to look at them, I want you to smile and I want you to say, ‘Oh, I know.’ Not because you are cocky or self-centred or whatever else they will call you, but because you know your own worth. Do not let yourself be diminished to something as superficial as your beauty. Yes you are beautiful, but you are also a million other beautiful things. Tell this to yourself, and to every woman you meet.
YOU’LL BE TOO MUCH FOR SOME PEOPLE, AND THAT’S OKAY.
With opinions and strength comes intimidation, and that’s okay. Do not be afraid of the self-confidence and love that you have built for yourself. Promise me that you won’t you ever shy away or feel you need to reduce yourself to make somebody else feel bigger. Promise me you won’t try to take up less space just because somebody else is uncomfortable with how much you inhabit. It’s a long journey to self-love and confidence, and now, after you’ve come so far, do not let somebody make you feel like you got it wrong; like you don’t deserve all of the things you built for yourself, like you don’t deserve to stand here with your shield against your chest and demand your own happiness. Because you do.
And one more thing. Repeat after me: I am strong, I am beautiful, I am enough. Repeat it every day.
Repeat it, repeat it, and never ever stop.
Please feel free to explore my page – including blogs on How To Live A Happy Life and Realising Your Worth. Likewise, check out my Instagram page and follow me for daily tips on exercise, life and nutrition.