WE SHOULD ALL BE CHEERLEADERS

In high school, the cheerleaders were always annoying. They are nonstop cheering for their team, during every single game and for every single player, and mostly for players with whom they have said maybe two words. I will admit, I was one of those cheerleaders. Today, however, I rarely ever find myself shouting encouragingly for or at someone, unless it is college football. Even then, I have never spoken with any of those players.

Why is it that we scream and cheer on those we will never meet, yet we don’t do that for ourselves or for others? Girls and women are constantly pitted against each other, and people as a whole are so volatile. We are judging everything down to the most minuscule thing; I’m guilty of it, and I know you are too. To add on to this mess, I remain my biggest critique. The amount of self-hating that comes out of my mouth and resounds in my mind when I do one tiny thing wrong makes me want to vomit. How come I can’t be the annoying cheerleader I used to be, but for myself? Or for my friends?

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I started listening to this podcast called Stay Open per a friend’s recommendation. I never could get into podcasts, but I ended up listening to this one my entire three hour drive home. In her first episode, Arletta Lerew mentions she chooses a word every New Year that she focuses on and tries to live by throughout that following year. Even though it’s already March, I decided to make my word cheerleader. I know, so many negative connotations go with that, but seriously I want to be the encouraging girl I was four years ago. I want to be that person for my friends and myself. I think we could all be a bit more of a cheerleader these days.

Anyway, I know this is just a long tangent of my thoughts, but imagine what a society we could be if everyone acted like those jumpy girls in suits. Imagine if you saw a girl’s instagram post and thought, “she looks so happy I’m so proud of her” or “wow look at her LEGS she looks so healthy!” instead of “she just has to post her entire life on social media to make herself feel better doesn’t she” or “ugh she’s so skinny, why don’t I look like that”. Instead of chewing yourself out when you make an 80 on an exam instead of a 94, think to yourself “at least I have to opportunity to be in school”.

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I sound like one of those irritating self-help books or facebook posts, I know. I just had to say it. Every single one of us has at one point wished for the best outcome for someone we didn’t even know, or sympathized with someone we had never met or will never meet, and yet we can’t even do that for ourselves? We gotta do better, people. And that’s it, thank you for listening to my soapbox and/or coming to my TED Talk. Whichever you prefer.

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