Do you feel pressured to keep up with certain expectations placed on girls in general?
Girls in general, I feel like we have expectations to always look good, like if you gotta go out of the house you should look good and have a picture-perfect life on social media, whereas boys you can just throw on whatever and it’s fine!

How did this pressure and other negative comments make you feel?
In grade 6 I got a lot of flack about my body, about how my body didn’t look like the other girls my age. I remember going home a lot feeling not very good about myself and I felt like I needed to put myself down before they did. So I’d make comments about my body before anyone else did. I had to let them know, ‘Ohh yeah, I don’t like my body either, trust me.’ At such a young age it’s so unhealthy.

What did you do to overcome negative comments?
Coming from other girls I feel like negative comments hurt the most because it’s like, ‘oh she’s a girl, she knows what I’m going through and she doesn’t like what I’m doing.’ You have to remember, maybe they went through a bad day, and because of it they are not going to be as friendly towards you.

Do you feel that girls are often pitted against each other?
I feel like we’re pitted against each other on social media.

Why do you feel girls should stick together?
We already have several negative perceptions we need to fight, like girls being weaker than men, so if we are all going through the same thing, why don’t we come together and try to fight it together?

What can girls do better to support each other?
One easy way that’s incredibly underrated is to smile. Sometimes you can feel competition and tension without even speaking. By smiling, you’re sending a message without even putting much effort into it! Complimenting others definitely never hurts anyone.

Do you have any advice to girls reading this right now?
Try not to focus so much on what’s going on right now. You grow, things change all the time. Some things get better, some things get worse, but things are constantly changing. It may take weeks, months, hours, minutes, but it will get better. You will find ways to cope with it and deal with it.

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