Mismatched Mess

of life, love, fashion, & forgetting to update


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Girl Hate

Last night at church, I broke up a pre-teen fight.

Two girls in puppy love with the same boy, a third girl out to help one and hurt the other.

The two girls ended up ganging up on the third child because she ruined the chance of ‘love’ for all of them by her lies and slander.

Sigh. It was tiring.

Mostly, because these are small children using phrases like “relationship” and “love life.”  *shudders* But also because the glaring hate these young children showed to one another with no regard for anyone’s feelings but their own was unacceptable and absolutely pointless.

This isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with young children being hurt, offended and incredibly rude to each other. They gossip, openly compare and criticize each other’s looks, and form cliques.

Those comparisons keep a lot of us women down, I think. We are competitive in one way or another and it hurts when we end up on the short end of the stick. The two main personal insecurities I’ve compared to others have been my fashion and success. Yeah, hair goes up there, as well skin, teeth and makeup, but some are just more prevalent than others. (I’m writing a post about some more of my insecurities that will hopefully be up soon, so I’ll keep this part of ‘girl hate’ short.) Many of us probably have that ONE thing we constantly compare to others. When you notice that one thing you’re comparing is better than someone, you rejoice, but, if–by your measure–that other person excels, then it’s easy to go on the offense. Jealousy, gossiping or unnecessary self-criticism may occur.

All day I’ve been tied up with stories of teenagers killing their friends for petty reasons; boyfriends, drama and just not wanting to be friends with them anymore. Killing. Murder. It hurts my heart. Obviously, these are extreme cases of girl hate, but why? How does someone think so little of another human being that they go ahead and decide planning a cold blooded murder is acceptable? Or what about bullying;that they can form joking ‘killing clubs‘ and harass others online and in person all because they aren’t liked? OR, taking it down another notch, how it seems every girl ever on the Internet prides themselves on the drama they create. If “I hate drama, don’t start drama or I’m gonna go crazy on you” is in someone’s About Me, you can bet they are the real starters of said ‘drama’.

But, even those of us who don’t cause drama, don’t bully, don’t KILL—even we’re allowing constant comparisons and hate rule us, and teaching our children to do and feel the same insecurity we do.

 I want to change the girl hate I’ve expressed and challenge the hate I’ve experienced.

It has broken friendships and caused others pain. It has also caused me pain. I know of specific hate directed toward me that people think I don’t know about. It’s difficult to keep that down when society says it’s ok to tell the world about people’s ‘fakeness’, but I know that spreading it would not vindicate me. I also know that people are complex and girls can over think everything. That specific ‘hate’ toward me could have stemmed from something I said or did. It wasn’t fair that they chose to act that way, but was it ok for me to cause mistrust in their life?

My past is not blameless. I realize my faults and failures. I realize how and when I compared myself to other women. I’m done letting my insecurities take precedence over friendship, even if that means telling all those secret insecurities to the world just to get it off my chest. I want to challenge myself to step out from my own comfort zone and give others positive encouragement and support where I used to just give silence or neglect.

With that, I hope to continue reaching out to our younger generations of girls to help them see that we can all be FOR each other. Even if it means I’m going to embarrass myself along the way, I really want to make my wrongs right. I want to stop the girl hating and help in my tiny little way to empower girls to feel okay about themselves and feel that it’s okay to spread love.


 

Speaking of women love, check out these amazing posts about empowering women to love and accept themselves and those around them!

 The Wine Stain 

Rookie Mag


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Learning From Children | Underlying Issues of the Innocent

Pre-Teen Girls During 'Tablecloth' Fashion Show

Taylor and I have been working with a small church’s children’s group for the past year. Ages range from sometimes 3 all the way to 12. In one room. Yeah.

But, most of them, thankfully, are within the 9-12 range which helps us find age appropriate lessons and activities.

Because of this job (it is Taylor’s job, but I volunteer), I’ve had a lot of time to observe young girls. I’ve learned their behaviors, cliques,  gossip habits and insecurities.

I’ve learned that one girl goes out of her way to look less poor to her friends. One 12 year old is extremely self-conscious about her teeth; another about her stomach. An 11 year old plays dumb, a 7 year old is so scared to talk she’ll sometimes start sentences excitedly and then immediately stop, almost cowering.

Another pre-teen was molested  as a child and desperately seeks that same level of attention with older boys.

Most of them come from poor, drug-filled households where it’s likely that–if one of their parents isn’t either out of the picture or in jail–they just got out of jail. Which isn’t to say the adults take ALL the blame–this is, after all, the life they grew up in. How does one end this cycle?

Unfortunately, I don’t exactly know how to answer that. I don’t know how to answer many questions regarding the serious issues these young girls face. It’s constantly forcing me to realign my perspective when I ask myself after an exhausting and frustrating children’s session, “Why do they act the way they do?!?!”

Well, Alyssa, why?

Why do they feel the need to prove they aren’t poor? Why do they choose to gang up on another to bully them? Why do they seek men’s attention and approval?

Every week is like a concentrated slap in the face showing me the deep rooted fears and expectations that society has placed on all women.

What these girls are learning from their mothers, they will teach their own children. Of course, I don’t hope for that. I do see a small societal shift in women’s behaviors and I can hope that these girls, specifically, choose to better their lives as they grow up and break a generational cycle of poverty, drugs and heartache.

I have really struggled with all the layers of issues these girls* have made me fully aware of. I think the easiest, yet also most intricate, issues to deal with are the ones directly related to all women. From media to our own mothers and grandmothers, we are given so much “advice” about behavior, appearances and the like that our minds have contorted around some of the most messed up ideas that truly have become part of our ‘norm.’ Like many other newly enlightened women, I’m searching for the balance between losing the chains of societal expectations and still feeling like I understand the strong and beautiful reasons behind what it means to be female.

I’m going to try to voice my thoughts in future posts on the subject of being a woman, as well as all the other major issues mentioned in this post as I rethink my own views and also combat the views these young pre-teen girls already think to be true.

Advice, opinions, help would be oh so appreciated.


 

*Not to say the boys of the group have no issues. We only have 1-4 boys come, sometimes 0. Perhaps there are no boys in the area, or perhaps boys not feeling connected to church and/or groups of peers is an entirely different issue to be discussed. Taylor does a lot for the boys as well as the younger children (As well as the preteens. He’s awesome). My heart has been set on these pre-teen girls from the beginning. Clarification over.