People shame teenage girls for the weirdest stuff. That in between being a kid and an adult is where everybody trivializes your hobbies, interests, personality traits, choices, and more, and it’s exhausting. It’s like, as a society, we all decided that whatever teenage girls like is something worth mocking and ridiculing. People will pick apart your life and call things “stupid” (I’m sure you’ve all experienced this on some level already), but you know what? You shouldn’t feel ashamed for the things that people are saying are stupid. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but you are also entitled to not agree with them. You should do what makes you happy, even if society is like, “LOL.”
On the flip side, we have people who feverishly distance themselves from these things in the name of “not being like other girls.” I hate to say it, but you’re just contributing to that problem. If you’re honestly looking for a way to be more mature and distance yourself from those whom you deem basic, that isn’t the phrase that’s going to do it. Instead, you should just focus on what makes you happy, and stop focusing on other people. I think we can all agree that people shaming you or other young girls for doing these things is silly. These are 15 “stupid” things you should never feel ashamed of.
1) Taking a really good selfie.
Some selfies look like they had an art director involved, but no, it’s just you and your front facing camera finding good lighting, perfect angles, and feeling yourself. People who say that selfies are inane or make fun of you for caring about them don’t appreciate the literal level of artistry one has to put into it. Seriously. So, they can calm down.
2) Hashtagging your Instagrams.
I think we can all agree that excessive hashtagging is annoying. However, if you are legitimately seeking followers, the main way people gain them is by hashtagging. If you want social media followers, people will shame you for wanting attention and that’s silly.
3) Being woke on Tumblr.
Most of us made Tumblr accounts to reblog cute gifs, do fandom things, and look at memes, and ended up walkeing away with a crash course in intersectional feminism, police brutality, Beyonce, and gender studies. When people ask you where you learned this and you go, “Oh, on Tumblr” they probably say it isn’t real, which is super reductive.
4) Caring about social justice issues.
Many of you are still upset about the election and there’s probably people in your life telling you that caring about it is dumb since you can’t vote anyway. And what? You’re just suddenly supposed to debrief yourself on American history and current events on your 18th birthday? Nah, son.
5) Liking the TV shows you do.
“You just like it because that guy’s hot. Vampires are so basic. That show isn’t even good. You just like it because everyone else likes it.” Wow. Didn’t know you cared so much about what people watch on their free time without you.
6) Your taste in music.
I never understood why people get so butt hurt about the things people listen to within the privacy of their own headphones. Does it hurt you? Are we making you listen to it?
7) Liking fashion.
It’s not cool to give a F. I get that. Not caring what people think makes you a “cool girl” but, just a heads up, there’s no such thing. You can care what clothes you wear and spend a ton of money on something if you have the means, it makes you happy, and you have a genuine interest in this designer. It’s no big deal.
8) Flirting with boys.
First off, if someone shames you for flirting with girls, they’re homophobic. Second, it doesn’t make you a bad feminist if you flirt and like attention. Stop policing other girls’ sexuality.
9) Liking girls.
Some girls like girls. It’s not for attention. Sexuality is a spectrum and dudes aren’t the center of the universe, the end.
10) Having a good relationship with your parents.
People will call you a goody goody, but who cares. I know you’re supposed to rebel as a teen, but if you and your parents have a good relationship, people will find a reason to fault you for it. Who knows? It’s a weird thing to get shamed for, but it happens.
11) Caring about school.
Why care about your academic achievements? Um, because you care about college and your academic career and you like learning? Is that a good enough answer?
12) Your body looking too “mature.”
People will straight up shame you for having large breasts at a young age, like that’s a thing you can control, like it’s your job to bind your breasts until society is ready to accept that you have a chest. It’s completely ridiculous.
13) Not wanting to wear a bra.
You don’t have to if you don’t want to. Really. Bras are awesome, but they can be uncomfortable, and I think we all know that.
14) Not showing romantic or sexual interest in others.
Sometimes everybody sucks, the political landscape drained you of all capacity for desire, life’s got you down, and everything’s overwhelming. So no, you don’t have to go to the party at your crush’s house if you’re trying not to have a mental breakdown, that’s fine.
15) Having depression or anxiety.
The worst. People will say it’s your hormones even if you’ve been diagnosed by a professional and chalk it all up to being a teenager, like that hasn’t been the main reason people keep dismissing you in life.
What “stupid” thing do you do? What have people shamed you for? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.