Latinitas - A Strong Voice for Latina Youth

Google. Most people that I know, know of this infamous search engine. Lots of different search queries pop up as a list below what you've typed, as you begin your search in hopes of finding an answer to your question. Moments ago, I typed into Google's search bar, 'girls dealing with' and the first query that was listed beneath my search-to-be was 'girls dealing with bullies.' No surprise there.

This query inspired me to write this post, hopefully the first of many to come. So why do they do it? Why are girls so mean? Even I don't know the answer to that question. The majority of us know that girls can be vicious, as I'm sure you've experienced at one time or another. Those unforgiving glares, those rude eye-rolls, the sneers, the gossip, the hair-flips, we girls have seen it all. And none of this seems to be a problem with guys. Why? Maybe it's because guys don't hold grudges? Maybe it's because they're not constantly in competition with one another? Who knows. But what we as girls do know is that our gender, specifically teenagers, are always competing with one another, trying to show one another up and prove who's best.

Whether it's who has the prettiest hair, the nicest clothes, the priciest purse, the cutest shoes, the latest phone,the best jewelry, the highest grades, or the biggest house, it's hard to avoid all of the drama that comes with those mean, conniving, judgemental girls who set 'friendship' standards too high. And these girls that gossip? They're not true friends, and they're best if just avoided as much as possible. A better way to find real friends? Hang out with a group that loves you for the beautiful, talented, smart, and unique girl that YOU are. As hard as it is, hundreds of thousands of girls are bullied every day, and in a variety of ways. Girls commonly gossip, ostracize, belittle, and exclude others in order to manipulate people that they feel they have control over. And sometimes, you may feel like you're alone, but the thing is, you're not! As a fellow girl who's tried time and time again to fit in with the "IT" crowd, you've got to believe me: it's not worth it- at all.

Tons of girls feel like they might be the only ones, but on many occasions, the girl(s) causing you grief are probably doing it to someone else, too. So know that you're not alone! You're not in this battle by yourself- I'm by your side, and I know others are, too. This brings me to the title of this post- Taylor Swift's new album called Speak Now. Not only is this album jaw-dropping, musically diverse, fresh, and new, but it's completely relateable. For those of you who aren't familiar with the works of this sweet country singer, Miss Taylor Swift's sixth track on her newest album is titled "Mean." Now I've got to say, sophomore year's been pretty tough for me so far- what with maintaining good grades, staying involved, and keeping up with sports and extracurriculars, the incessant gossip and bullying going on at my school has quite often seemed unbearable.

When I heard "Mean" by Taylor Swift at an assembly about bullying I attended not too long ago, and its effects on girls, I was moved to tears. It felt as if America's sweetheart, Taylor Swift herself was reading straight out of my journal. As my eyes scanned carefully through the lyrics, I breathed in deeply, and thought to myself, "Yes! Someone who understands. Someone who has been in my shoes." I sighed and smiled, out of relief, happiness, and, yes, many other wonderous feelings. Her lyrics mean so much to me, not only because they're real and true, but because these lyrics helped me and still keep me going today. Taylor Swift is my absolute favorite person in the entire world, regardless that I've never met her. She seems like the sweetest dear thing, and by the sound of it, we've been through a lot of the same stuff.

So, what's a girl to do when rumors spread and the accusations fly? I know, it feels like the people you know and are close to might be drifting away, or it may even be the people you thought you were friends with that are giving you a hard time, but it's times like these that make us all aware of who our true friends really are. Even if it's just the school counselor and one other person, consider them dear and keep them close- as was once said, truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget. Know that you're not alone! At one point or another, every girl has felt the exact same way you're feeling. If there's a rumor going around about you that you know isn't true, don't show that it hurts! That's what the instigator of the rumor looks for- the satisfaction of knowing that what they said hurt you. It's much easier said than done, but with the help of honest and real friends, it's most definitely possible.

Regardless, know that whatever happens, there's always someone in your world who's willing to do anything for you- whether it's giving you a ride, helping you with a project, or even carrying something for you, there are kind and lovely people out there waiting to find a friend like you to connect with. And know that there are tons of genuinely nice girls in this world. As Randy Newman once said quite well, "you've got a friend in me." So smile and hold your head high- kindness really does go a long way- with everyone.

In a parting word- one of my favorite quotes from my favorite country star:

"No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind."
— Taylor Swift


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Comment by Marisol Guzman on February 7, 2011 at 12:49pm
Great advice Leticia! I've always also believed "kill them kindness!"




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