06 Apr Mean Girls by Tracey Metzger
On Sunday, my daughter and I went shopping for her senior prom dress. I was probably more excited about it than she was. It’s so silly, but I guess it’s just one of those moments you dream about when you hold your little baby girl. Not senior prom necessarily but those markers in life that indicate that they are moving from one phase to another.
She will be leaving for college this summer … Well, better not go there – that’s another blog for another day – one for which I will need a box of tissues at the ready!!
Anyway, after I was resuscitated from the sticker shock of the price of prom dresses (MY, have things changed since I was a senior!), she tried on a number of beautiful gowns. Some had lots of cutouts and plunging necklines, and I wondered how they could charge SO much for SO little material. We set those aside. Others were overwhelming for her little frame. But one was just right – simple but elegant, and she looked beautiful.
She said “Yes” to the dress (kudos to the marketing team that invented that phrase!), and we took a picture.
Then the saleswoman, who is a great lady that helps me whenever I shop at this boutique said to us, “DON’T show the picture to anyone – not even your friends.”
She was adamant. I naively said, “Oh yes, good advice – it should be a surprise.”
She answered, “Well yes, there’s that too, BUT … GIRLS ARE MEAN!!”
My daughter nodded her head in agreement.
She went on to tell us that she has known several instances in which a girl has come in and chosen a dress, taken a picture, and gone home to show her friends. Subsequently, the girl had come back to change the dress out because of the negative feedback she received from a so-called friend.
She told us that in more than one case, the girl had later reported that the “friend” that gave the negative feedback on the dress had actually wanted it for herself and went in after the girl returned it and bought it!!
She reiterated – GIRLS ARE MEAN!
I found myself agreeing. Girls at any age can be mean.
But in the same moment I wanted to scream, NO!!
Girls are not mean – they are broken.
Mean girls (of any age) are mean because they are afraid. Underneath the meanness lies insecurity and shame. When you realize that, you don’t see meanness anymore – you see brokenness. And when you see through that lens, you realize a few things.
Mean girls of any age need to know a few things.
They need to know they are loved.
They need to know that there is enough love to go around.
They need to know that if someone else is winning, it doesn’t mean that they are losing.
They need to know that if the whole world deserts them, they have a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
They need to know they have a Father watching out for them who created them and loves them.
THIS is the reason why For the Girls exists.
We need to tell them. (We may need to tell ourselves, first!)
We need to model the love of Jesus and be kind and forgiving. We need to cheer each other on and realize that there is plenty of love and success and blessings for everyone. We need to encourage women and girls that they have a race to run that was mapped out just for them and that they don’t need to try to be like anyone else.
We need to let them know that there are other sisters and witnesses here and in heaven lined up on the sidelines cheering them on!
Let’s be those girls! And let’s teach our young girls to be those girls too.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” -Hebrews 12:1