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The Reality of Being a Teenage Girl

Speaking from the perspective of a teenage girl, living as one is one of the most difficult things to navigate, especially in our current society. The pressures put upon us, the standards for what we should look like, how we act, being confident but not too confident, learning independence, the list goes on. I am lucky enough to grow up in a household where my mom was the boss lady of the house and I was taught that women are the most powerful entities there are. I was in a bubble where women were respected, had the final say, and had full power of expressiveness but as I started to grow up more and see the world surrounding me, I realized the real world is far from this perception. Being only 18, I have plenty of time to experience more ins and outs of being a woman, but so far the hardest part of my life has been my recent teen years and I know I am not alone. Even though the feminist movement is growing tremendously and more expression surrounding the hardships of being a teenage girl have been normalized to talk about, I still find it crucial to emphasize the troubles we go through and make other girls feel comforted by the idea that we are not alone and although we may be struggling, we are boss bitches who will be expressive, confident and not afraid to admit what we go through. 

Body Image and Eating Struggles

One of the most extreme issues I have seen and experienced firsthand is the tremendous issue of body image and eating struggles. It feels as if every girl I meet is in some way struggling with their eating habits or body image and that it has been normalized to the point where it is not shocking but almost assumed that they are struggling. It has even become ordinary in friend groups for others to encourage weight loss even with the knowledge that their friend is struggling. With how common it is, it seems as if this issue will never end. Yes, there are new standards for bodies trying to be made for women with cellulite becoming more normal for models, stretch marks, and more diversity in size ranges of models but this issue seems to not even slightly be diminishing. I believe this is due to the fact that yet these “real” features of bodies are starting to be shown, these models are still being edited to have only minimal stretch marks, perfect skin everywhere else, and still having their bodies edited in general, defeating the purpose of breaking the stigma of perfect bodies. With social media, body image has only intensified with girls scrolling through their phones and seeing countless different celebrities with their hair and makeup done and outfits perfectly fitted for their bodies and comparing themselves without thinking of what went behind these celebrities' pictures. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to do social media cleanses and instead of focusing on random strangers and their looks, force yourself to instead focus on your beauty and with people who love and support you. Girls supporting girls is our only way of getting out of breaking this stigma, we ARE the most powerful entities. 


One of the most important parts of girlhood is having good friends to experience your life with. But in the teenage years, people can be the sassiest and crudest people that you will ever meet, and if you don’t have a good support group during the teen years, it can be the loneliest point of your life. Most can agree that high school was one of the strongest points but also where you meet your forever hometown friends, and if you’re lucky enough to have made those, it makes coming home a lot more exciting. But no one really talks about how difficult it was to make good friends during the treacherous years of high school and how difficult it becomes again to leave those friends and have to make all new ones. Girlhood is so important and making the right friends can be so difficult and it can be so disheartening if you haven’t found your people yet. But New York has millions and millions of people, the girls and gays are everywhere, and there are your people somewhere here I hate to be cheesy but good things take time ladies.


Although it is being talked about more in society, depression rates are higher than they’ve ever been specifically for 18-25-year-olds, and we are struggling the most. Yes, depression rates are increased because coming forward is more normalized but also because there are more expectations put on specifically teenagers than there ever have been. It can be so difficult admitting to the people you love that you are struggling and even if you’re lucky to be comfortable enough to confide in someone, battling depression along with battling being a girl in general is a difficult fight. Being a teen girl is hormone city and it can be difficult to do school, socialize, and be a good friend and family member all while remembering to take care of yourself but self-love is 100000% number one. Coming out of depression is one of the most difficult things to do but it can only start with taking care of yourself… I will end with a cheesy quote again because they are said for a reason, you can’t take care of anyone until you’ve taken care of yourself. 

Coming Out

This paragraph is for the gays!! Coming out is a ginormous point of our life that is where we start to explore our identity, who we love, and where we learn who actually supports us. In my opinion, the scariest point of coming out is how the people we love will react. For me personally and I think for most people it was hard to tell my parents because they didn’t grow up with the LGBTQIA+ community being as prevalent making it more likely for our parents to have stigmas, be fully against, or just not understand the community. I am lucky enough to have parents who support and fully accept me making it an easier process to start exploring my identity to its fullest which included phases that I hope to God no one remembers. But I know not everyone is this lucky and how disheartening hiding who you are from the people who are supposed to support you is but that is what the community is for and even if it’s not blood family who support you, you will always be supported by the LQBTQIA+ family!!! But, thankfully, being in New York is a new era, we can create new identities that you would never be able to be in your hometown and we will all slay continuously from now on for the rest of our lives. 

Being a girl can be such a difficult thing but also the best experience at the same time. The power we hold and what we can do with that power is stronger than anything else in this universe and only becomes more powerful as our girlhood expands. Although we go through some shitty times, what we become from our experiences and how we can hold ourselves is what makes us so powerful. We need to refuse to let anyone diminish our struggles or not let us be our most expressive selves, this year and every year to come will be our year now that we are starting our independent journeys of becoming dominant women!

Written by Dani McAllister

Photography by Mark Bluemle

Creative Director: Cam Lyken

Talent: Amele Brown, Sein Esation

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