I’m a high school counselor. I love my job. But there are days when
I wonder just what in the hell kids are thinking nowadays. Boys are
treating girls with less respect than ever before and young girls rarely
demand something better. This kind of behavior just confuses me. If I
had behaved that way 15 years ago, my dad would not have tolerated it.
But I can’t say much to these kids beyond a sliver of advice. And
that’s only to the ones who come to me. It’s just not my place.
There is a trend that’s becoming increasingly popular among teenage
girls: the thigh gap. This isn’t news. I would wager that this isn’t
the first time something like this has come up. We as a society place
the physical appearance of women in such high regard that it’s difficult
to focus much on the beauty within. We shouldn’t have to dig so far to
see it but because of our own hang ups, we do. In my opinion, the
biggest issue with this is how it is reflected in the behavior of your
youth. Young women have lower self confidence and their self images
aren’t considered beautiful. Young men know this vulnerability exists
and often take advantage or make it worse than it is. NOTE: I’m sure
not everyone falls victim to this, but in reality it’s difficult not to.
I have three daughters. I hate knowing that this could be them in a
few short years. To me, they are beautiful but society will tell them
that every blemish is horrific and that single ounce of fat needs to be
dissolved. So many young women are obsessed with achieving the
impossible and obtaining that “perfect” image. You can imagine how
refreshing it was to overhear a young man sincerely and intently tell
young women how this obsession is crap.
Men are shallow, it’s true, but there are a few of us who keep our
gender above water. This young man fell into an elite group of
gentlemen, and I was proud to know him. We have weeks left of school.
Everyone is restless and aching to hit the pool or beach. A young
woman said, jokingly, that she “probably got her body a little too ready
for summer.” You had to have been there. But then another young girl,
I’m guessing a friend of hers, commented that there is no such thing.
I rolled my eyes like the teenage girls engaged in conversation. But,
in a moment of triumph, their male counterpart inserted himself into the
conversation and promptly told them off. Hear me out.
Never before had I witnessed such an awesome act by a young man. He
ranted on and on about how it’s nice to stay fit and care about your
appearance, but if the hottest girl wore sweats to school she would
still be the hottest girl. He said that confidence is more attractive
than a perfectly made up face, and that no matter how skinny or not
someone is, their attitude determines how appealing they are. *Silently
fist pumps, alone, because finally someone got it right.
I know we’ve all read and heard of things like this happening. Dove‘s
beauty campaigns make me want to purchase a lifetime supply of their
product just because they paint a more accurate picture than anyone
else. But this kid was amazing. Seriously amazing. He was bold and
not the least bit shy in his delivery. It was easy to see that he
really believed what he was saying. He made my day, and I hope the day
of those teenage girls, and for that he gets this post. The Upbeat Seat
is a little more upbeat because of him.