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we’re told that guys want natural girls, so we don’t wear makeup, we don’t touch our hair with heat, we don’t twist our faces in pain while we pull hair from our faces, but then we’re told to shave and pluck and wax and tweeze and cover up that acne and at least put in a LITTLE effort. we’re told that guys don’t want a slut, so we wear leggings even in the summer, if we wear a skirt we find ourselves constantly tugging it down, we’re afraid to wear shirts that cling to our bodies, but then we’re told that we’ll never find a boyfriend if we’re a prude and we should wear shorts sometimes and tank tops are fine as long as you don’t have cleavage and we should ‘tease’ them a bit with a sundress. we’re told that we can’t be interested in ‘boy’ things, so we force our child selves to be interested in dolls, exclusively stay in the kitchen during playtime as kids, squeal at the sight of worms, buy our clothes in pink, but then we’re told that femininity is weak and we shouldn’t display our interests in makeup or fashion or cooking and try to be ‘one of the guys’ sometimes. we’re told that we are weak, incompetent, less smart , not strong, and too emotional to think straight, our bodies are treated like possessions and our brains like raisins.

i am a girl and i’m tired.

please let little girls join football teams without it being weird, please teach them about bugs and science and math, please tell your little boys that girls are strong and capable and smart people just like them. and please tell your little girls that it’s okay for boys to cry and be sad and have strong emotions and like the color pink, please let your boys know that it’s okay if they want to do ballet instead of football and they don’t need to hide their hurt to survive in this world. please let girls wear makeup to their hearts content, please let them wear dresses every single day for themselves if they want to without them being treated like objects. please tell your boys and girls that it is never the victims fault. please preach to them that mascara doesn’t glue your eyes shut so you can’t read a word of literature. make sure they know that high heels and flats can also be alternated with cleats and running shoes. show them the great women who have accomplished things in science and math, take them to see a ballet with male dancers. teach them love. teach them acceptance. please tell them that appearance and gender and race do not determine competence or ability or talent. please put the world in their hands and show them everything and say, ‘here, take this. you are the future and you have the ability to make this world a better place.’

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