How did you feel at 15-years-old? And what do you wish you could tell yourself at 15 if you could go back now?
That’s what #Dear15Me is all about. Dawn McCoy (host, creator of BeautyFrosting, and lifestyle and life empowerment expert) has created a movement where we can share our stories and struggles of when we were 15-years-old – and share our hindsight vision – to encourage teens to love and accept themselves, just as they are right now at this very moment. *Helping teens tackle their teenage years with the confidence, grace, wisdom and ease we wish we’d had.*
So many of us say, “If I had known then, what I know now….”, so why don’t we tell teens while they’re still in it? Our goal is to start a viral movement that helps ease what can be a tough time in a teen’s life. Post a picture of yourself at 15 and your #Dear15Me message, and let teens know how you felt at 15, and what you would say to yourself if you had the chance now. Because you do. You have a chance now to help them get through this challenging time, with confidence, grace and ease. No picture of you at 15? No problem. Just post a pic of you now, holding the sign “Dear 15 Me…”and write your story and what you wish you could tell 15-year-old you in the caption.
Seeing the struggles that we went through then, how we got through them, and what we know now that we wish we had known then will inspire them to live their best lives now.
Listen. Being a teen was hard. I remember it so clearly: the insecurities, the doubts, the fickleness, the fear, the fights with friends, the crushes, trying to please your parents, trying to impress your teachers, all of it. HARD.
But, today’s teens have it even harder. They have all of that above, plus the added pressure of social media. If there had been social media when I was in high school, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have graduated, and I think my parents would agree with me on that.
I realized just how tough it is for teens these days on a recent trip to Little Rock, Arkansas. There, I talked to the mom of a 15-year-old daughter who told me about the pain she has to see her daughter go through daily when she compares herself to others on social media. Remember that party you didn’t get invited to in 9th grade? Well, imagine having to see pictures of it on Instagram the next day. Remember the guy you had a crush on who asked out your best friend? Imagine having to see pictures of them hand-in-hand on Facebook. SUPER HARD.
That next night, I drove to my Dad’s house in Hot Springs, Arkansas and saw a picture of me at 15 years old, hanging on his wall. I saw this gorgeous girl and was shocked, because that was not the girl that I remembered. The girl I remembered was chubby, with braces and filled with nervousness and insecurity. She was scared of being too much – and not enough – all at the same time.
I ended up writing a post about it, and was overwhelmed by the comments, Facebook messages, texts and emails that I received in response. My feelings of wishing I could go back and speak to 15-year-old-me really had struck a chord. Hundreds of women wrote to me, expressing that they too look back and wish they could tell their 15-year-old selves that they were perfect as is, and that everything was going to be okay. Sometimes, that’s all we need to hear: “You’re okay, you’re okay, you’re okay, you’re okay.”
So, I’ve decided to do something about it, and start a movement. It’s called the “Dear 15 Me Challenge,” or #Dear15Me for you hashtaggers out there. #Dear15Me is a movement where we can share our stories and struggles of when we were 15-years-old – and share our hindsight vision – to encourage teens to love and accept themselves, just as they are right now at this very moment. Helping teens tackle their teenage years with the confidence, grace, wisdom and ease we wish we’d had. Here are the details. I really hope you’ll be a part of it, and that we can help make the journey a little smoother for teens out there today.
#Dear15Me : To inspire teens and women and men, at every age, I encourage you to share what you would say to yourself at 15, having the hindsight, wisdom and experience that you do now. I urge you to 1) post a picture of yourself at 15, with a caption saying: “Dear 15 Me…” and follow it with 2) what you were feeling at that age, and most importantly, 3) what you wish you could tell yourself at 15. It’s that easy.
No picture readily available of you at 15? No problem. Any pic of you as a teen will do, or just post a pic of you now, holding the sign “Dear 15 Me…” and write your story and what you wish you could tell 15-year-old you in the caption.
While there’s no time machine to take us back to 15 to correct our thinking then, we hope our past experiences and heartfelt words will help inspire – and make the road a little easier – for teens today. Tag 5 of your friends and ask them to do the same. Together, we can make a difference in the confidence of today’s teens. And be sure to tag @Dear15Me and @BeautyFrosting so we can share your experiences with our social media channels.
“I wish you could see what you look like to me. Don’t you know you’re made of stars? You can do anything – dance, laugh and sing. You’re carried by love. All that you see will come to be. So, what will you do, beautiful you?” (Dawn McCoy)