Top 10 Things to Tell Your Teenage Daughter: In Response to Former Disney Child Star’s Performance at the VMAs

It’s that time of year, the VMA awards, and former child star Miley Cyrus is again front and center in 2015, just as she was in 2013. Thought it was a good time to dust this post off and bring it down off the shelf.

This powerful piece was written by former youth ministry leader Kate Conner who is now developing the post into a three book deal! And remember – this article originally posted after “foam-finger-gate-2013” a full two years before Miley was voted the worst role model for kids by UK parents.

Top 10 Things to Tell Your Teenage Daughter:

1. If you choose to wear shirts that show off your boobs, you will attract boys. To be more specific, you will attract the kind of boys that like to look down girls’ shirts. If you want to date a guy who likes to look at other girls’ boobs and chase skirts, then great job; keep it up. If you don’t want to date a guy who ogles at the breasts of other women, then maybe you should stop offering your own breasts up for the ogling. All attention is not equal. You think you want attention, but you don’t. You want respect. All attention is not equal.

before and after


Top 10 Things to Tell Your Teenage Daughter #2. Don’t go to the tanning bed. You’ll thank me when you go to your high school reunion and you look like you’ve been airbrushed and then photoshopped compared to the tanning bed train wrecks formerly known as classmates – well, at least next to the ones that haven’t died from skin cancer.

tanning is not cool


Top 10 Things to Tell Your Teenage Daughter #3. When you talk about your friends “anonymously” on Facebook, we know exactly who you’re talking about. People are smarter than you think they are. Stop posting passive-aggressive statuses about the myriad of ways your friends disappoint you.

Top 10 Things to Tell Your Teenage Daughter #4. Newsflash: the number of times you say “I hate drama” is a pretty good indicator of how much you love drama. Non-dramatic people don’t feel the need to discuss all the drama they didn’t start and aren’t involved in.

Top 10 Things to Tell Your Teenage Daughter #5. “Follow your heart” is probably the worst advice ever.

Top 10 Things to Tell Your Teenage Daughter #6. Never let a man make you feel weak or inferior because you are an emotional being. Emotion is good; it is nothing to be ashamed of. Emotion makes us better – so long as it remains in it’s proper place: subject to truth and reason.

Top 10 Things to Tell Your Teenage Daughter #7. Smoking is not cool.

Amanda Bynes smoking is not cool


Top 10 Things to Tell Your Teenage Daughter #8. Stop saying things like, “I don’t care what anyone thinks about me.” First of all, that’s not true. And second of all, if it is true, you need a perspective shift. Your reputation matters – greatly. You should care what people think of you.

Top 10 Things to Tell Your Teenage Daughter #9. Don’t play coy or stupid or helpless to get attention. Don’t pretend something is too heavy so that a boy will carry it for you. Don’t play dumb to stroke someone’s ego. Don’t bat your eyelashes in exchange for attention and expect to be taken seriously, ever. You can’t have it both ways. Either you show the world that you have a brain and passions and skills, or you don’t. There are no damsels in distress managing corporations, running countries, or managing households. The minute you start batting eyelashes, eyelashes is all you’ve got.


“You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are enough.” Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Top 10 Things to Tell Your Teenage Daughter #10. You are beautiful. You are enough. The world we live in is twisted and broken and for your entire life you will be subjected to all kinds of lies that tell you that you are not enough. You are not thin enough. You are not tan enough. You are not smooth, soft, shiny, firm, tight, fit, silky, blonde, hairless enough. Your teeth are not white enough. Your legs are not long enough. Your clothes are not stylish enough. You are not educated enough. You don’t have enough experience. You are not creative enough.

There is a beauty industry, a fashion industry, a television industry, (and most unfortunately) a pornography industry: and all of these have unique ways of communicating to bright young women: you are not beautiful, sexy, smart or valuable enough.

You must have the clarity and common sense to know that none of that is true. None of it.

You were created for a purpose, exactly so. You have innate value. You are loved more than you could ever comprehend; it is mind-boggling how much you are adored. There has never been, and there will never be another you. Therefore, you have unique thoughts to offer the world. They are only yours, and we all lose out if you are too fearful to share them.

You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are enough.

Posted with permission from Kate Conner 

Originally posted Aug 26, 2013 @ 11:46

Thank you to my friend Cristy Leonard (owner of fabu kids line Paperlili) who shared her friend Brendalix’s facebook repost of this article in direct response to the Miley Cyrus Performance at the 2013 Video Music Awards (VMAs).