Choose to Be You

It’s easy to lose yourself in the world around you, especially when you’re dealing with so many outside pressures that continually tell you what type of person you’re supposed to be.

Be flirty.
But also be hard-to-get.

Be thin.
Be curvy in the right places.
Be strong.
Be vulnerable.
Be smart.
But don’t be too smart.
Be quiet.
Be loud.
Be in a relationship.
Be single, but date around.
Be captivating.
Be sexy.

You’re told to be so many things, but what’s so wrong with simply being you?

As a young woman, you’re going to face more than a few situations in which you feel like you can’t be yourself. There might be a guy you really like but who maybe hasn’t paid enough attention to you, so you try to change some things about yourself that you think might catch his eye—you wear a little more makeup, you buy some tighter clothes, you start taking an interest (or pretending to be interested, anyway) in what interests him, and you do all of the things that you think he wants you to do.

But is that you? And—more importantly—is that the girl you want to be?

Maybe it’s a movie for younger kids (though you’ll probably admit that you love it), but Mulan shows the struggle of a young woman who wishes she could simply be herself and not pretend to be someone she’s not. Cue up her ballad “Reflection,” and you’ll see. We hear you, girl.

While you’re at it, listen to Colbie Caillat’s “Try” to serve as a reminder that it’s so much better for you to be your genuine self than to make such strong efforts to change who you are. Just as she says, you certainly don’t have to change anything—not one single thing—about yourself to try to please someone else.

Even though it can be tough at times, it’s important to be able to find your identity outside of other people and the things in which you’re involved. Don’t let guys or school or work or basketball or dance or choir or art or anything that can so easily be replaced define who you are. Know your value and worth, and never let anyone or anything take that away from you.

And you might just discover that the beautifully and wonderfully made girl you see staring back at you in the mirror is the only person you want to be.

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