It’s scary to grow up girl in this world of ours. The constant pressure to maintain a certain standard of beauty, fear of harassment, and the insidious effects of rape culture—as well as consistent dismissal, ridicule, and cruelty directed at women by those in power—mean that we are constantly struggling to make our voices heard and be taken seriously.
This is even more of a predicament for girls and teens. The things they’re passionate about are met with eyerolls. They’re scorned as silly, superficial, and vain, even as they are told, directly and indirectly, through countless advertisements and media, that they are worth only as much as their beauty. I have experienced this struggle in my own life—both when I was a teen and also now that I’m a grown woman. If you’re too ambitious, you’re a bitch. If you’re too nice, you’re reviled as weak, and subsequently preyed upon or taken advantage of.