Be yourself

Why don’t boys like me? This question troubles many teenage girls, but we’re all clueless as to the answer. Recently, this typical question has vexed me like never before, so I consulted a friend. He responded that “guys are just intimidated by your independence,” which made me question whether or not my independence is a benefit. And I’ve come to the conclusion that independence is worth more than a boyfriend.

In her HeForShe speech at the United Nations Headquarters, Emma Watson explained, “If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive.” These gender stereotypes that men must be independent while women depend on them also affects dating in high school.

I am considered unattractive because, although I long to be liked by a boy, I know that I don’t need them to feel good about myself. It’s exciting to admire and even more-so to be admired, but maybe being an independent young woman is even better.

My favorite TeenVogue article, “Crazy Beautiful,” featured girls who chose to express themselves through tattoos, piercings and edgy hair styles despite their boyfriend’s adverse reactions. The article discussed how forms of self-expression are able to weed out the boys who deserve to date you from the ones who don’t. I’m glad I’m an independent feminist who wears what I want to because I don’t want to date someone who doesn’t appreciate me. These characteristics allow me to differentiate the right guys from the wrong ones, because the right guy won’t be intimidated.

I still feel a bit jealous when my friends describe their high school romances, but I remind myself of what the character Carrie Bradshaw once said on Sex and the City: “Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with them.” I’ll have a boyfriend when someone admires my independence instead of being intimidated by it.

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