I was a thirteen-year-old girl once. I was also fourteen, and fifteen. At one time I suppose I was also twelve but I like to forget about that age because I had a really bad haircut. I was a teenager not too long ago, and I know you hear this all the time… whatever you’re dealing with, it gets better. It doesn’t get better at eighteen, or twenty-one, or sixteen when you get your license. It gets better NOW because you make the change and become a leader.
It’s fun and easy to gossip and trade the tea with each other because people are interesting. It’s why celebrity culture is such a big industry! It’s why we look up to Ryan and Kenley and want to know everything about their lives—trust me, those girls are sweet and nice and just the same as you… well if you have a double and can stick your leg behind your head. But girls scrutinize their every move waiting to catch them out, and they do that with their own friends, too. This behavior? It’s not good, it’s not healthy, and it doesn’t do anything to make you better than them. It does make you worse, though.
You know the saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?”
Yeah, that’s not something that comes easy to people, at any age. But it’s something we can fix. Because teenage girls aren’t inherently mean. And cheerleaders, despite the stereotypes, are really really good people.
In what other sport do you have a team like you do with cheer? Where every person on the team plays an important role and isn’t easily replaced? Just within your stunt group, you have four or five people that know each other so well you can anticipate and adjust for the smallest movements to keep your flyer in the air! That’s a whole human who trusted you with their life, btw. When someone on your team gets a new skill it brings up your whole score, same with the girls who go to tumble class to refine their technique or the girls who lift weights to be stronger and more stable. If you cheer for your school, you are there supporting others to do their best and be their best no matter if the odds are stacked against them—you show up and you show out because it’s part of your sport and it’s your job. Every small—or big—thing that each individual on your team does makes the entire team better, or worse.
That includes the way you treat each other. It’s important that you know, and your friends know, and your teammates know that your worth isn’t based on other people’s failures. Your bids aren’t based on another team busting. Your wins aren’t based on another team losing. Resist the temptation to lay blame at someone else’s feet, resist the urge to share secrets they told you in confidence to get back at them, and stand up and speak out when others start doing that because it doesn’t serve you, it only serves to hurt.
Whatever you’re going through, it gets better because of you ❤️