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Change The Voices in Your Head. Make Them Like You Instead

Our guest, Karyne Corum encourages women (sisters) to stand by each other and to use their voices to speak out for each other.

“Young women today face some tough challenges.  They are still being bombarded with the age-old stereotypes. Barbie dolls still push abnormal body types, Bratz’s sell girls on excessive adornment with make-up, hair and clothes, and baby dolls that have body functions barely let them be girls before they have to try and be mothers.  The toys we give to little boys emphasize freedom of movement and action, and rarely the more introspective elements of their character.

Girls today also have the looming Facebook, this generation’s version of Big Brother, and all the other electronic media that compels them to crave popularity more than ever.  More and more pressure to look good because it’s going out there for the whole world to see and judge.

So what can these girls do to stand strong and develop self-respect?  They are surrounded by a hyper critical world of peers and media that overshadow their every move with judgment.

Don’t give it, till you get it.  And it is whatever you think it can be.

Love. Respect. Attention.

Don’t sell yourself out to get a man.  Care more about who you will be tomorrow than who you can be in the moment.  Find, treasure and keep some good friends, a thousand on Facebook does not come close to one true and loyal real friend.

Don’t back down, ever. If it feels wrong, or looks wrong, it is wrong.  Your gut instinct is the best friend you will ever have.  Confront a put down or sexist remark, not with vulgarity or what you think a guy might say, but with the force of your own intelligence and power.  The first time will suck, you will feel awkward or even silly, especially if no other girl supports you.  This time.  But the next time it will feel a little better, and come more easily, and I promise you, eventually another girl will back you up.  I remember in a bar one night, my friend who came with me, had a guy who wanted to drive her home. A guy I didn’t know and  I didn’t trust.  I said, no. She came with me, she goes home with me.  He was furious and ranted at me for like ten minutes, said some nasty things, but even as I was shaking inside, and my friend said nothing to support me, I stood my ground.  Later, she thanked me, said she was sorry she didn’t speak up.  The next time we faced a situation in a bar, she had my back, all the way.

I’m heartsick over the stories I read, even after tragedies like Natalie Holloway and others, about girls who trust the guy because he looks good.  Girls and women get abused and even murdered every day because they don’t know how to love and protect themselves more than wanting the translucent high of a man’s temporary attention.

If you see a girl standing up for herself, give her some support. Sisters stand by sisters. No matter what, no matter how hard, and here’s the really tough part, no matter how unpopular it may make you.

I mentioned above about craving popularity and I used the word crave with a purpose.  Popularity is a drug, and the more you get, the more you want.  But like any other addiction, it will leave you empty, hollow and strung out.  Treat it like the nasty habit it is and quit.  Hard?  Sure is.  But will it save your life?  Absolutely.

It takes nothing to slip into the crowd and become as weak and spineless as they are.  It takes strength to stand aside and be your own force.  But the more you use your strength, the stronger you become.  I was wrong when I said I didn’t know if you were born with strength or not.  I think it’s a part of our DNA, only we decide if it’s a working strand or not.

And like Pink says, “Change the voices in your head, Make them like you instead.”

I used to think I was born in the wrong time, but when I look at my son, already being raised to love and respect strong women, I know I’m right where I’m supposed to be.”

I say, AMEN, me, too!

Please share links to this post with every young woman or girl you know, encourage them to change the voices in their heads that say they are not pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough.

 

 

 

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Laine Estep #

    WOW! There is such truth and power in this column! I will definitely have my teen daughter read this! I preach the same things to her and her friends, but I worry it falls on deaf ears sometimes. Thank you Karyne and Sylvia! You are both strong women and role models for the rest of us! The strongs and the want-to-be-strongs alike! 😀

    June 22, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Super fantastic, Laine!! That is my heart’s desire–to set the example and guide women–both young and old–to claim their power! I would love to have your daughter and her friends come join us! I’d love to hear first hand what they experience along these lines. How difficult it might be–what influences must they reach beyond, etc. Tell them WELCOME!!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      June 22, 2011
  2. Thank you for sharing this very poignant message. Girls -especially in this dizzying digital age- face a lot of pressure to be thin, beautiful and popular. Facebook really intensifies that pressure as young girls – heck even adults – flaunt their popularity by tallying up a high number of “friends.” I think it’s important to not try so hard to be liked, which is something “good girls” are conditioned to do. It’s taken me a long time to realize that people don’t have to like me and that I shouldn’t muffle my voice when I have something to say!

    July 13, 2011
    • Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

      Absolutely, Jessica! I suppose that’s one advantage women gain as we age. You know–old women who say exactly what they think, regardless! Wish I would have learned many years ago to sacrifice the effort to make everyone like me, to one of being who I am. To not be afraid to say who I am, what I stand for, what I don’t stand for–and most importantly, what I won’t stand for! That’s where you young whippersnappers can sidle up to an older woman and say, “talk to me!”

      Glad to have you here! Love your chicklit blog and reviews. You focus on some very strong women authors!

      July 13, 2011
  3. Hey there I really like your articles. I linked to your WordPress blog on my site about the PSP-3000 so my visitors will check out your blog too.

    July 17, 2011
  4. I agree with your Change The Voices in Your Head. Make Them Like You Instead | WRITING STRONG WOMEN, wonderful post.

    August 7, 2011

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