Maaya says: Dear Teenage girl

Regardless of whether you see this as a post from me or Maaya, I hope that the words in it can somehow mean something to you. I’ve been wanting to say this for a while, but I couldn’t find the right words. I lurk the internet alot, and while it’s not new that society is killing teenagers, the internet is underlining this fact. Blogs, Twitter, Tumblr…the list goes on, and it’s not a pleasant sight. Teenagers dominate alot of these social media sites, and many of them use the sites as an outlet for their feelings; fears, frustrations, sadness, anger, insecurities… That in itself isn’t bad. There are many ways of expressing oneself, and if you want to write/draw/sing/scream it out, or express it in any way that might prevent you from hurting yourself or someone else, then that’s great and healthy. However, I find myself questioning how healthy these sites are. Not because I want to be the kind of person who wants to “take away” someones sanctuary – I understand the need for expression, and finding understanding in others.

What scares me is how sites like this have come to “glorify” certain things. What might start as innocent curiosity, or a way of seeking understanding might lead to an unhealthy obsession.
There’s an alarming rate of teens sharing experiences and fueling each other, by pulling each other down rather than helping each other up. Reblogging so-called “thinspiration”, self-injury-posts, posts that trigger and “inspire” others. “If that girl thinks she’s fat, I must be enormous”. “My cuts aren’t deep enough.” “I’m not good enough.” “I’m not pretty enough”.
How many posts like this are reblogged every day? Is it helping anyone?

I’m not pointing fingers. This is genuine concern.
Please don’t think you’re not good enough. Please don’t think you’re not pretty enough, or smart enough, or thin enough. Please don’t strive to be perfect. Perfection is an illusion. Don’t measure yourself by someone else – yes, it’s cliche. Of course that’s what you’re thinking.
But it’s true. Perfection – flawlessness doesn’t exist.

I hate to see all these beautiful, strong girls (and boys) feeling so insecure, so sad, driving themselves deeper into depressions because they think they’re not good enough.

Perhaps it sounds lecturing after all, writing a post like this.
“What do you know? These people are like me, they understand me.”
I understand, and I’ll post more about that matter later. And like I said earlier, it’s not the internet I want to lash out against, there is nothing wrong in seeking comfort from others. But the comparisons, the “competition”, the intense need to look towards someone else, perhaps copying their way of coping, continuously looking at content that hardly makes anyone feel better.

Yes, it’s your blog and you post what you want. Yes, it makes you feel better, getting it out. But isn’t it a vicious cirlce? Ultimately, a public person (and we all are in these online times) has a responsibility to protect themselves and others.
Haven’t we all done something because we read about it somewhere, because we were “inspired”? Didn’t we regret it? But regretting something, and telling someone “never do what I did” is pointless if we keep doing the exact opposites ourselves.

This isn’t about morals. Not really. I digress.

Please, look at yourself; what makes you feel this way? Is there someone you can talk to?
So many kids with problems refuse to talk about them. Even when they do get help, many refuse to accept it. Why? It’s difficult to be vulnerable, of course it is. But in the end, isn’t it worth a shot? Feeling awful all the time isn’t ideal either, is it? But in order to get the help you’re offered, you’ll have to be open. And it’s gonna hurt, and it’s going to be difficult. But maybe it’ll get better? It’s worth a shot. You’re worth it.

Dear teenage girl, teenage boy, young adult… Dear reader; you’re beautiful. You’re stronger than you think. You are good enough. It’s okay to be vulnerable and insecure. We all are, one way or another. You are good enough.
And there is help out there, don’t be afraid of seeking it.

Somehow, I wasn’t at all able to express what I wanted to say. I just hope that one day it doesn’t have to be like this.