She’s sitting there across from. Her legs are crossed. She’s tapping her pen against her notebook almost to a rhythm. She’s not making eye contact with me, but she never does. I am sitting on the couch. This is how the sessions always go; she asks me what’s wrong. I say nothing is wrong, and then she goes, “well, there’s a reason you’re here today.” I say, “I am forced to because nobody understands the way I feel. Why do adults think I can just tell you my thoughts, and voila! I am better.” She responds with, “Try me. I was a teenage girl once. What’s so hard about it? I survived.”
What’s so had about being a teenager girl? In the four years I have been a teenage girl, my brain has gone through about a million and four emotions. Let’s start from the beginning of my teenage career. 2013. That was the year I was told I was fat for the first time through a website that let insecure children send an anonymous hate to other. I wasn’t fat, I had fat on me, but I wasn’t what “society” deemed as fat. From that point on, I’ve spiraled deeper into a world of self-hate, but that’s another story for another time. Girls are taught to not be happy with the way they look. If a girl is chubby or god forbid have a bit of fat on them, they are deemed ugly. If a girl is skinny, then they are told that they should eat a hamburger or that they are thick (or the new slang term: thicc) girls are better. I wouldn’t want to be a boy though because I think I would crack under the pressure of having to be forced in a societal role where I have to be masculine, couldn’t cry, and have to play sports. Also, girls have it rough, but boys are taught to keep their problems silent, while simultaneously being loud about their opinions. I cry too much to be under that pressure, and it would take too much of a toll for me to have to say what I am thinking all the time.
Let’s continue about the millions of emotions and problems a teenage girl deals within the 21st century. They can’t win in life because everybody notices every inch of teenage girls. I dyed my hair blue over summer 2017 because I wanted to, and I became the only feature people saw on me. Blue hair. My grandmother died, and at the funeral no one went, “I am so sorry for your loss.” They went, “Oh, what’s the story with the hair” or “Do your parents know you dyed your hair blue?” If I come to school with a new bracelet on or look super tired, people will point it out as well. A teenage girl becomes the thing people notice on them instead of the person they really are. The opposite of people noticing everything is people noticing nothing. I was super depressed and sad for about five weeks at school every day, and nobody noticed. I would cry in the back hallways, and come to school with bloodshot eyes, but no one noticed. I think no one noticed partially because I don’t notice a lot of times when other teenage girls feel as I do, and sometimes you can be oblivious to those around you. The other reason is that no one wants to get involved with a girl on the verge of a mental breakdown.
In all the high school movies I’ve watched, when a girl gets asked out; she says yes, regardless if she knows the guy well or not. Being a girl means that if you say, “no” to a guy, they call you a “bitch” or “prude” or “slut,” regardless of your actual sexual experience. Being a teenage girl means that if you want to explore your sexuality it’s either deemed as “super hot” or a “fad that you’ll grow out of.” Being a teenage girl means that I have to sit around waiting for a prince charming even if every guy you’ve met in the last four months has either made you feel self-conscience in some form or has made you anxious. It’s not their fault entirely, it’s the standards pressed upon them not lining up with the standards pressed against girls.
In this day of age, I can keep up with people’s lives that I hadn’t seen in years at a click of a button. I get to see if my friends are going out without me because of Snapchat and Find My Friends. I can see who hates me by looking at people’s private twitter accounts. I can look on Instagram and scroll through hundreds of photos of girls I want to be, and people I want to be with. People are on display, and I can browse through them whenever I like. It’s the same with the opposite as well; people can click ‘next’ on me and I would never know that they even looked at my profile. Nobody sees each other as people anymore but as images.
So, she can’t tell me that being a teenage girl is not hard. She doesn’t understand that when I say that I am sad, it means I am truly sad. She doesn’t understand when I tell her that there are days that high school feels like an eternity long. She tells me “it’s the best years of my adolescent life.” Maybe before social media that was true. You can’t understand being a teenage girl in 2017 if you aren’t one. I can’t tell her what it’s like to be an adult in 2017 because I am not one.
She asks me, “Are you still there?” while snapping her fingers in front of my face. I looked up and blinked a few times and mumbled, “yeah.” She crossed her arms, and her notepad fell to the floor. She says, “I asked you. What’s so hard about being a teenage girl? Everyone survives it.” I looked at her and said, “Not everyone.”