Dear Mom, This is what I need from you!
I’m your teenager. Sometimes I wonder if the world I live in is in any way similar to the world you grew up in. Living in a society filled with social media, reality television, and beauty magazines at your fingertips 24/7 can definitely bring a sense of insecurity and vulnerability as I try to figure out who I am. Girls my age, and younger, are competing with celebrities and models who are airbrushed ever so carefully to the point they don’t even look like themselves. Perfection is obtained by artists’ hands and brands bombard us with these looks via social media applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TV, YouTube, and Pinterest. I am sure you are wondering why in the world I feel this way. You have told me since I was little that I am beautiful and awesome just the way I am. I hear you. You’re my mom. You’re supposed to say that. But if I am being honest, I also really listen to my peers and the media.
The pressure to look “perfect” is just one of the many I face every day. I go to school and hope that I fit in, have friends, good grades, and meet a boy who really likes me. That’s just during the school day. When I come home I strive to make you proud of me by achieving all of this AND excelling in the after school activities I love. Sounds pretty stressful doesn’t it? Good days are stressful enough. But, if I have a bad day, I might not even want to talk about it. I might be so upset that I feel like I want to disappear. If I seem like I am not myself, something is probably wrong. Don’t ignore my signs, come talk to me and don’t forget to listen.
I am sure you are wondering how you can help me with all these crazy stresses while I try to find myself and figure out who I really am. Talking TO me, not AT me, is very comforting. I know you have been through some of the same things I am going through but it’s really important that I go through the experiences of being a teenager myself. Please know that I really do know you are just trying to help. I need to FEEL the pain of friendships that fall apart, boys that break up with me, and the bad grade I received because I procrastinated. Communicating with me is probably the most important thing you can do. Even if I don’t want to talk that much, ask me questions anyway. Don’t let me run away to my room! I want you to know my friends and really help me choose wisely, but please try not to call me out in front of my friends or act too nosey when they are around; it makes me not want to invite them over. There will be time for us to talk when they are gone. I expect rules and know that you are teaching me morals and values. When rules are too strict, I will never learn. I need to learn to trust my moral compass.
The biggest way you can help me is to be a great example. When you are on the phone trashing someone to your best friend, I hear that. When you look in the mirror and say self-hate comments, I hear that too. I am a product of you. Take a good look at yourself and know that I also copy you. Sure, those magazines with perfect girls are all over my smartphone and television but I live with you and YOU are my biggest influence by far. I do love you even though sometimes it seems I don’t. Do moms have GIRL POWER? YES, they do! I need some of that same power so I can gain the confidence to be the best I can be! To not give in to the pressures of today’s society. I need to learn to love myself not for what is on the outside but what is on the inside. Confidence will give me the power to love myself for who I am and not be afraid to show off my quirky style. I am the future and with your help, I too will be My Very Own Superhero and ROCK this world!
GIRLS ABOVE SOCIETY is a 501C3 organization founded by Lauren Marie Galley, an 19 year old actress/model and college honors student. This organization provides mentorship and awareness to teen girls facing the pressures of today’s society. GAS is the home of “Girl Talk”, a signature program lead by Lauren that builds the confidence and leadership every young girl needs to become an excellent role model in their community.
As a voice to young teen girls, Lauren travels throughout the U.S. giving her signature “Girl Talks” empowering young girls to be confident leaders of their generation. Lauren reaches across the globe by hosting her own show “The Lauren Galley Show” on CETV (Confident & Empowerment TV) and has been featured on Fox News, Teen Vogue, Best Ever You Radio, and Talented Teens broadcast in the U.K. Her writing has appearedin numerous publications throughout the U.S. such as Huffington Post, International Talent Magazine, Talented Teens, Michelle Phillips Mind & Beauty and Babble, covering the issues and pressures young teens are facing in today’s society. Lauren has recently been named Youth Advocate for Free2Luv giving her a platform in her Free2BeYOU Series, as well as Teen Commentator for Houston Family Magazine, Chief Teen Advisor for the Best Ever You Network and Teen Blogger for Huffington Post.
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This post was written exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC