When the results of this years Girls’ Attitudes survey by Girlguiding revealed that girls as young as 7 feel pressured to look ‘perfect’, we were upset. But not surprised.
Almost every woman and girl alive knows how it feels to be judged on our appearance – by friends and family, by boys in the street, by strangers, by the world – and how it feels to be so conscious of our appearance that it holds us back in life. From getting down and dirty on a sports field to seizing the most exciting opportunities, so much is sacrificed because of the pressure to be pretty.
But it turns out those 7-10 year old girls also have the answers sussed, saying loud and clear that the most important thing to improve their lives right now would be to stop judging girls and women on the way they look.
Got that, society? Stop. It. Now.
Newsflash: that means thinking twice about the nice comments, as well as the nasty. The ‘compliments’. Because obviously, being told you have great hair or a beautiful smile can make you feel great – but while we’re only praised on our appearance, it’s so much easier to believe that’s all we’re worth.
So inspired by Girl Guiding’s #YouAreAmazing campaign, we had a go at coming up with a whole list of lovely compliments you can give girls (or anyone really) that have nothing at all to do with their appearance.
And you know what? It wasn’t hard.
1. You are so clever.
2. You are so creative.
3. You are so brave.
4. You know the lyrics to so many songs off by heart.
5. You’re perceptive.
6. You’re a brilliant listener.
7. You give really good advice.
8. You give quite bad advice, but always with the best of intentions.
9. You have the fiercest moves on the dancefloor.
10. You’re completely hilarious.
11. You’re a fantastic problem-solver.
12. You’re kind.
13. You’re generous.
14. You’re amazing at whistling.
15. You are very good at seeing the best in people, even when everyone else sees the worst.
16. You are very good at seeing the worst in people, even when they’re not as great as everyone thinks.
17. You have the wisdom of a very old oak tree.
18. You always pick the best place to eat lunch.
19. You have an excellent sense of smell.
20. You can always pronounce the non-English words on a menu correctly.
21. You’re tough, resilient and not afraid to take risks.
22. You’re the person everyone wants on their team.
23. You can probably hang pictures perfectly straight, first time.
24. If I threw something at you with no warning, I bet you’d catch it.
25. You’re such a quick learner.
26. You have the best taste in books.
27. You always have the perfect reaction gif for every occasion.
28. You’re the kind of person who can sing the harmonies in Happy Birthday.
29. You make the perfect cup of tea.
30. You have an adventurous spirit.
31. You have the brightest future ahead of you.
32. If I ever went on Pointless, I would want you for my teammate.
33. You have the best sense of direction.
34. You embody all the best qualities of each Hogwarts house, rolled into one.
35. You inspire me.