Dear me at 13:
All the boys are talking about Katie.
All the time.
In fact, you feel like all you hear about these days is how hot she is. How nice her hair is. How funny and cool she is. About how all the boys want to go out with her.
Katie, Katie, Katie.
You can’t help but wonder if it will ever be your turn. If the boys would ever talk about you like that. What you might need to do to make it Kyra, Kyra, Kyra.
Well, let me save you the curiosity: it won’t ever be like that. You won’t ever be the girl who boys talk about that way. And believe me, you’ll be thankful for it in the long run.
There are a few girls like Katie at your school. A select few that have caught the boys’ attention and are holding it captive. Are they pretty? Sure. Are they smart? Mildly. Are they funny? Maybe. So what do they have that you don’t?
Let me fill you in on something here: There is no complexity to a teenaged boy’s sexuality. There is no mystery. No real puzzle to solve. Teenaged boys think about sex almost all the time (actually, I think men in general think about sex all the time, but they just learn to hide it better with age). The Katies of the world are no prettier or smarter or funnier than you.
But they do put out. And that is a sure-fire way to catch a teenaged boy’s interest.
And so, the boys talk amongst themselves a great deal about Katie, and you hear the periphery gossip. You hear them talk about how hot she is. You hear them wish they were going out with her.
What you don’t hear is how the boys laugh about Katie behind her back. About the jokes they make at her expense. About the fact that she’s easy, and the fact that, to them, that makes her disposable.
You see, it might be tempting to model yourself after a Katie. To make sexual jokes during gym class. To flash your bra behind the math portable. To sing less-than-savoury song lyrics in the halls. You might even try some of this behaviour on for size sometimes, just to see how it feels.
But here is the thing: You communicate your worth through your actions. If you flippantly give parts of yourself away, you send the message that those parts really aren’t worth all that much.
The Katies of the world are popular for a few moments in Junior High. Right now, this might seem like everything to you. But the sad fact is that in spite of this, the Katies rarely wind up with actual boyfriends. They also rarely wind up with any good girlfriends. They rarely do well in school, and they rarely come from families that care about them the way yours cares about you.
In other words, they are seeking something to make them feel valuable. They’re looking for anything that will make them feel special. And they’re looking to other people to assign that value for them.
If your value is based on your status as the popular girl- as an object of lust for your drooly, hormonal, teenaged classmates, then it’s a moving target. Your stock plummets the moment the next Katie tries to take your place.
The key lies in assigning value to yourself outside of what others think about you. In evaluating yourself as a whole, as opposed to the sum of your parts. In knowing that whether other people think you’re sexy or funny or cool is irrelevant.
Being a Katie is overrated. It’s common. It’s a stereotype. A caricature of itself. What if you focused on being Kyra? What if you stopped trying to be anything other than yourself? What if you started to value yourself just as you are?
It might not make you a hit with the boys. It might not make you cool. It might not make you popular. Let the Katies of the world have those things. Because once you truly become a Kyra, you’ll find that you won’t really need them anyway.