Even grown women sometimes need reminders meant for teenage girls.
Melissa Newman-Evans, a graphic designer and poet, performed a poem entitled 9 Things I Would Like to Tell to Every Teenage Girl at the 2015 National Poetry Slam in August.
Shared this week on YouTube by Button Poetry, the poem calls out the insecurities and challenges many girls experience on their way to womanhood — as Newman-Evans puts it, things that seem like "the world is trying to kill you."
Among those things, Newman-Evans reminds listeners, is how much girls' bodies, outfits and beauties are a constant source of self-consciousness and judgment.
"You will never completely kill the idea that your body is the most important thing about you," Newman-Evans says.
That includes how you're supposed to look, how you should dress, what brands or hairstyles are the best — all are things that slowly "kill" as they take over women's everyday lives.
But as the poem says, your clothes are a choice. Your hairstyle is a choice. And those choices should be ones that empower you, no matter what they are. High heels, according to Newman-Evans, are just as badass as combat boots, if you so choose them to be. It's your call.
We may not be teenage girls anymore, but as we head into a new year, it never hurts to be reminded of what really matters — and what we really don't need to give two shits about.
Plus, "combat boots" might be our new favorite style world, referring to anything and everything badass.
Watch the full performance below:
Correction: Dec. 31, 2015
An earlier version of this article stated Melissa Newman-Evans is an actress and slam poetry performer. Newman-Evans is a professional graphic designer and a poet.