You definitely have it worse.

I wore GAP jumpers with Kappa trousers that had poppers at the side. That was cool, then. I remember playing Snake on my Nokia 3310. I remember going to a party at the local youth club and singing my heart out to Destiny’s Child, ‘‘I’m a Survivor’’. I remember wearing Reebok Classics and making them last for ages, because getting trainers was a Christmas gift. I remember calling my friends on the house phone, because we may have had mobiles, but rarely had credit.

See, when I was your age we still had the pressure of ‘fitting in’ and trying to follow the cool kids, but not to your extent. You have it worse. Now, I don’t think you’re entirely to blame, in fact far from it. The society we live in today tempts you in to an all consuming façade of false pretense that will not keep you full, but will do the reverse and leave you incredibly empty. And that is why I write you this letter, little sister.

This doesn’t come from a place of nostalgia, although maybe part of it does because it was a lot less complicated when I was your age, but my point is to let you in on a couple of life lessons I’ve learned since.

You are growing up in a very different world to the one I did. Everything you do, even your most personal moments, can be documented, framed and put on show through social media. Like a diary entry ripped out and stolen for all to see, not even your thoughts are kept to yourself for very long. You are concerned with how many likes you can get on the video you just posted, you feel that your status is judged through the amount of followers you have on Twitter, or the shape of your body rather than the highest of intentions you hold in your beautiful heart.


It may not seem like it now, but in a few years, little sister, you will start to see another side of life and a new depth to human beings. Some will repulse you and some will enlighten you and they will all teach you a thing or two. Things that seem so important to you now, things that appear monumental will not even be granted a second thought. Your need to impress other people will start to dwindle down as you come to terms with the fact that you only, really, need to impress yourself.

You will see that looks and popularity hold no weight when it comes to the decency and morality of a single person. You will fall in love with a kind heart and a wonderful soul. You will discover that being a woman is more about your values, actions and having substance than the clothes you bare. The women in the media you idealise now will no longer entertain you, because the women that you surround yourself with will inspire you.

I’ve realised that to be content within yourself, you only need a few things in life – and not all of them can you touch. Who you are at your core will keep you going, not an Instagram post or a million false friendships. You see, little sister, there is a difference between momentary happiness and something giving us a lifetime of happiness.

So as you start to fly, make sure you’re going in the right direction. And if you ever feel lost, I will be here to guide you, little sister.

By Tasha Artwell

About the author

After graduating with a degree in Publishing, Journalism & Media Tasha spent a term studying Music Journalism and Creative Writing in New York and also took a short course in Fashion & Beauty Journalism at LCF. While on her travels in Australia she jumped 14,000ft out off a plane and passed out half way down (ha!). When she’s not travelling, reading or writing she spends most of her time floating in her own colourful imagination.

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