1. You do not need a man in your life to be complete.
2. When a woman is assertive, she is often labeled as aggressive (or worse). Don’t let that stop you from being assertive in all aspects of your life.
3. Some will label you “weak” if you want to get married, take his name, have children, and stay at home. Others will label you ”unfeminine” if you choose to keep your name, focus on career, and be driven outside of domesticity. They’re all wrong. So long as you make your life choices with your own happiness in mind, the path you choose is right.
4. The women you think are so perfect have just as many struggles as you; they just hide them better.
5. The models you see in magazines and on TV do not really look like that. They are airbrushed, made up by professionals, and surgically altered. You need not envy something that is not real.
6. When you look in the mirror, try to fill yourself with gratitude instead of disdain. Someday you will no longer have this body that works so hard to keep you alive. No matter what its size or shape, remember that your body is miraculous and deserves love, not criticism.
7. If a man calls you a name or puts his hands on you – even once – he is abusive, and it will get worse if you do not leave.
8. If you’re sexually active, people will call you names. If you’re not sexually active, people will call you names. They’re all wrong. What you do with your body, who you do or do not choose to be physically intimate with, and when you choose to be sexual, is your business and your choice. Whatever you choose is OK, so long as you do it with self respect.
9. Never let any teacher, parent, friend, or boyfriend dampen your sense of self worth. Know in your heart that you are perfect as you are – no matter what grades you get, no matter what friends may say about you, no matter what any man thinks of you.
10. Women can be our own worst enemies. We sometimes gossip about or judge each other, but these behaviors are born of jealousy, and jealousy is born from insecurity. If you participate in any of these behaviors, you are perpetuating women’s collective low self esteem. Try to celebrate another woman’s beauty, success, or happiness, and you will be part of the evolution of womanhood.
Any choices you make in life – from the trivial decisions of what to wear and what movie to watch, to the greater decisions of whom to marry and where to live -, make them with self respect in mind.