An Open Letter to Little Sisters

Dear little sister,

Every day when I turn on the news, I see just how much crazier the world has become. It seems like every day brings a new issue. Whether it be another sexual abuse accusation against a high-profile name, one more step toward stripping away every right of the LGBTQ+ community, or another tragic mass shooting.

I’m sorry this is the world that you are growing up in. I just want to let you know a few things.

First, you are beautiful.

There is so much pressure to look like the photoshopped versions of people you see in the magazines. You shouldn’t ever compare yourself to those images. You are perfect the way you are. There is no definition of what beautiful is.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t wear something. Fashion is a mode of self-expression. If wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt is what makes you feel beautiful, then wear it. If wearing shorts and a crop top is what makes you feel beautiful, then wear it.

You don’t need to dress a certain way to flatter your body type, to benefit someone other than yourself, or to keep away unwanted attention. Your outfits are something to make you feel confident and beautiful.

Second, don’t define your self-worth by what others think.

Having been bullied, especially by those I thought were my friends, has shown me how to choose the right people to have in my life. They were my friends, so it was hard to cut them off. But it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Don’t let toxic relationships weigh you down.

I can’t guarantee you won’t experience something like this, but I want you to know that everything will work out. You are amazing and perfect. Anyone who thinks otherwise isn’t someone you need in your life. Yes, it’s hard to cut people out of your life but you’ll eventually realize how important it is. You will be okay because you are amazing.

You’re the one that decides who you want to be. Whatever you choose is the right choice.

Third, I’m sorry that we live in a man’s world.

Photo source: Esquire

I’m sorry that a boy’s education is more valued than yours. I’m sorry that you can’t walk home alone at night. I’m sorry you can’t really walk alone at all.

And I’m especially sorry that we live in a society that blames victims instead of rapists. What you wear doesn’t decide if you consent. How much you drink doesn’t decide if you consent. Your relationship with the person doesn’t decide if you consent.

Only you decide if you consent.

Fourth, your voice is powerful.

One of the hardest things you may ever have to do is speak up. It’s easy to fall into the habit of sacrificing your happiness for others. Don’t.

Stand up and speak out, not only for yourself but for everyone who can’t. You’ll be targeted for using your voice and for fighting for what you believe in. No one said revolution was easy.

Last, but not least. I’m here for you

Just like I tell you, I’m going to use my voice and my power to help make the world a better place for you. This upcoming election day I will be casting my vote, to make my voice heard, and to make a change in the world.

Photo source: University of California

But that’s not it. I will make my voice heard in every way possible. I will protest and I will fight. Together, we can make the world a better place.  

 

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