Our teens worlds are way different than the ones we grew up in - at least mine, because I grew up in TLBI- or The Land Before Internet. Yes, I had passions, dreams and goals, but the ways of showing what I was all about were far different that the ways my kids have. Lets be honest, a lot of our teens worlds are portrayed by what they present to the world- and it’s a far larger world than the one I grew up in. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I could give them advice about how to go about living and showing their dreams realistically in a world that wasn’t exactly mine, and how they want to be perceived. It’s a whole new world out there!
I needed help! I reached out to Courtney O’Neal, multi-media style contributor for some tips in helping my teens choose their images and style to reflect who they are, and what they stand for. It is a lot harder than just taking cute photos. It’s more about what you want to share to with the world! I loved her advice that she shared with me to share with them:
Continue to grow, be bold, explore the world, keep evolving, dare to create your own reality and to dream!
- Make your own style! Style transcends what we wear. Your style is determined by how you move through and present yourself in life, as well as how you dress! I love how my daughter shows her commitment to the body-positive community by her choices of clothing and what she shares, and her goals of helping to End The Stigma of mental illness by her honestly and support to those also suffering with mental illness.
- Think about a time when you’ve been scared of something. Fear is a powerful feeling that will either promote you or paralyze you. Use those powerful feeling to move forward! My daughter shared a poignant moment recently about wearing her shirt tucked in. She has been bullied about her body and it was something that caused her a great deal of anxiety. However, she recently shared a photo of herself in a cute outfit with her shirt tucked in, acknowledging the fear but owning the pride she had in wearing the shirt the way she wanted. She was amazed at the support she was shown- Facing your fear can be very empowering!
- Every single person has the ability to write and tell their own stories. YOU get to write your own story. It all starts by making a decision about who you want to be in life. This is so very true! My Ally started her own blog, called Losergurl, telling her bullying story and sharing it with the world. It helped her go from being a victim to an advocate- and inspiration to others. Her story has evolved- so she revamped her blog to show her new self- as AllyDelMonte which leads to the new tip:
- It’s okay to change your story! If you are in a place where you no longer want to share that story, it’s okay to change it up. I saw this happening with my daughter who was an anti-bullying advocate and moved on to become a mental health advocate. She’s still sharing her story, adding the one that she wants to be told.
- It's important to know what's going on around you so that you can help to rewrite the story that's being told. Never let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do or become; that is totally up to, starting today. This was a lesson we were already living. My daughter had been told over and over that she was a loser by her bullies. She decided to show the world that she wouldn’t let the bullies win- she embraced who she was and is, and shared it with the world!
Teens spend a lot of time thinking about how they portray themselves to the world. when all I had to think about was how I showed myself to my small town. In a lot of ways, I think I had more freedom, but then again, I think about how the entire world world is opened up to them. They get to experience and know so many things- and they get to write and rewrite their stories to share as they want. That's pretty amazing!