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"Dear Girls of the World Today" by Seanan McGuire
Working Class Superhero
ebenbrooks wrote in metaquotes
seanan_mcguire, the author, wrote this marvelous essay to the girls growing up in today's world:

Dear girls of the world today;

There is nothing wrong with you.

Everything I see, everything I read, everything I hear, is geared toward telling you that something is wrong with you. You're too fat. You're too thin. Your skin is terrible. You look too young. You look too old. You're too smart, you're too dumb, you talk too much, you don't talk enough, you're broken, you're flawed, you're bad. And all those things are lies. They are exaggerations. They are designed to pick on the things you feel insecure about, and convince you that you will never be happy unless you force yourself into their standards of perfection.

They will tell you that you are weak; that girls can't deal with spiders or do math or love snakes or run nations or be scientists. They will tell you that you must be indecisive, flighty, more interested in the interests that are chosen for you than the ones that you choose for yourself. They will tell you that you have to change yourself to suit them, and then they will keep moving the goalposts, so that you're never done changing, and you're never allowed to be you. And they are wrong. They are so, so wrong, and you are better than the lies they tell you.

If you are a girl, you are a girl. Period, finish, end statement. It doesn't matter what you look like or what you enjoy doing. It doesn't matter what your biological gender is or was. It doesn't matter who or what or why you love. All that matters is that you love, and that you accept that you are you, and you are awesome.

It's okay if you love pink. Some girls genuinely do. I genuinely do. Once, we would all have been viewed as cross-dressing and weird for liking pink, which was a male color. Times change. If you want to own your own pinkness, do, and don't let anyone tell you that makes you less of a feminist.

It's okay if you hate pink. You're not denying your gender or letting down the side, or anything else like that. You're a person, and there are a lot of colors out there to fall in love with. I recommend orange, green, and anything that sears your retinas.

Frills and lace and high heels and makeup are all fine. So are denim and combat boots and tattoos. So is everything between those extremes.

Collect dolls or knives or books or interesting rocks. Watch horror movies or romances or cartoons. Run races; go to spas. Eat cake or lettuce. Buy yourself a toy light saber and make your own wooooom noises while you wave it around; build a cardboard castle and chuck plush mushrooms at your would-be rescuers. Live your life, the way you want to live it, and understand that no one can kick you out of "the girl club" for doing it wrong, because you're not.

You're doing it exactly right, and I love you for that.

Corn maze love,
Me.


The comments on the original post are good, too.


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(Deleted comment)
Seanan would be very displeased to hear herself described as a man.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

(Deleted comment)
I like that the OP points out that the purpose of feminine beauty/behavioral standards is TO BE IMPOSSIBLE. We are meant to fail, it is programmed into the system so that we will be forever struggling against feelings of inadequacy.

What a beautiful, inspiring piece of writing ... Very well done, and it's tasteful to boot.

It is oddly appropriate that I have Pink's "Less Than perfect" stuck in my head right now.


"Corn Maze love?"

I have no idea. You'll have to ask Seanan. ;-)

Instead of being one of those people who look for things to bitch and moan about, I'll just say that I think there needs to be more people, of any race, gender, or background, attempting to reiterate this message to girls and women alike. So much pressure is out there to the contrary that it's great to see something positive like this!

*clicks the like button*

I printed this out and put it in my daughter's room where she'll see it when she comes home.

Hopefully she won't crumple it up and throw it at me, screaming "STOP MANSPLAINING YOU EVIL MALE OPPRESSOR!!!"

Taking issue with men telling women how to experience their own oppression is exactly the same as shrieking EVIL OPPRESSOR at someone, yes, good job.

This is wonderful. There can't be enough people calling out the BS that is "you must hate yourself for not fitting up to my standards, now buy my crap so you can get closer to those standards." Especially the part about the moving goalposts.

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