Seven Things Young Women Need To Stop Doing Right Now

Being a teenage girl is the pits, and being an adult woman in your 20s is no easier. Once you get to the point where you’re paying your rent, making your own meals, and getting regular pap tests, there are a few traits from your teenage years that you have to let go of. Immediately.

1. Stop playing dumb

Baby voice and an inner thigh rash are equivalent in sex appeal, so I’m still staggered by women who continue to play the I’m-so-stupid card. There’s nothing cute or charming about your open ignorance. You should vote in every election. You should know there’s a famine in East Africa. You should know how many quarters are in a dollar. Be careful who you pretend to be—it’s too easy to become known for who you pretend to be.

2. Wear a bra

This is not Coachella, you are not a sexy hippie, you are at work. Put it on.

3. Stop worrying about how much or how little sex you’re having

No one needs to know your number. Have fun, wear a condom, don’t get pregnant, don’t get an STI, don’t believe anything a one-night stand tells you, and don’t worry if you’re not having any at all. We’re not all one-dimensional characters from Sex & The City (sorry?).

4. Stop calling other women “whores” and “bitches” and start calling them “assholes” and “jagwagons”

I know women aren’t supposed to hate on other women anymore because YEAH, CAPITAL-F FEMINISM and BOYS GET PAID MORE BOO-URNS and SOMETHING SOMETHING MEAN GIRLS IS LIKE, MY LIFE, but being kind to women just because they’re women is equally condescending.

It’s acceptable to dislike another female because she’s disagreeable, purposelessly cruel, personally tedious, or whatever other flaw that means you two aren’t going to click. What isn’t okay is using the words “whore,” “bitch,” “slut,” or any other female-centric pejorative to describe her.

Calling other girls terms that can only be used in regards to women makes it acceptable for men to do it too. Women don’t suck—people do, and it’s fine to want to use words to call them out on their crummy behavior. But insults directed specifically at women and women alone tend to focus on sexual impropriety, and that’s not fair. If a dude can’t call a woman a whore for wearing a low cut top, or a bitch for being aggressive at her job, you can’t either, sister.

If she gets a job you wanted or even if she wears tight t-shirts to put her heaving bosom on display for the public, she’s not a whore. The only time you can maybe, maybe call her that is if she has sex with literally every single human being you know. All of them. And if she heeds the previous item on the list, she really doesn’t care what you think about her sex life anyway. That girl? Yeah, that girl sucks, doesn’t she. Call her a dinkus and move on.

5. Stop being mean to your parents

Your 20s are all about your quarter-life crisis and you’re going to spend a lot of time thinking about WHO YOU ARE and WHERE YOU ARE GOING and HOW YOU ARE CHANGING. You may have five or six a year, so being mad at your dad for trying to break you and your boyfriend up or at your mom when she yelled at you at your cousin’s wedding in front of all those people, Mom, oh my god, I can’t believe you embarrassed me like that, I hate you, I hate you, I wish I was never born!!!!!!!!!! isn’t going to fly for much longer.

This won’t be true for all of you, but for many, you have to put your traumatic middle-class upbringing aside as you’re going to realize that no one else is ever, ever, ever, ever going to love you so much that they just want to call to ask what you had for dinner and how you’re going to cut your hair and whether you wore a jacket outside even though it’s 17 degrees, Mom, do you have to fill my goddamn voicemail with this, I’m at work!

6. Stop getting stupid tattoos in cursive writing on your rib cages, wrists, and necks that say things like “live” or “breathe” or “love” or “pestilence” in another language

Your body is not the inside cover of your 8th grade notebook—treat it accordingly.

7. Stop hating yourself

You’re skinny enough. I promise. Yourself is enough. Maybe you could read more, but whatever, we all could. Your clothes are fine. No, you don’t need to change before we go out. You’re not perfect but there’s a very small percentage of females who are, and he dumped you because he has a learning disability and refers to himself as “The Wind.” It has nothing to do with you.

Your friends, even the ones who hate themselves too, hate you more when you resort to self-pity. Request excellence of you and others, but don’t turn into a sad-sack because you’re not your own ideal. Stop crying. You’re not Miranda July, your strife isn’t twee, and you’re too old for teenage angst. Everything is alright. TC mark


More From Thought Catalog

  • A.

    don’t tell me what to do

  • A.

    don’t tell me what to do

  • A.

    don’t tell me what to do

  • Jd

    i like #6

  • guest

    i call men bitches, whores, and sluts, too, though, what are your thoughts on that

    • Donna-Lee Grant

      calling anyone a whore or slut or anything regarding their sex life is super lame. who cares how many people or who they are having sex with. its their life, as long as its not affecting your life DIRECTLY (which it most likely never will), people should honestly zip their lips! :]

      • guest

        but you’re fine with “bitch”?

  • Anonymous

    Let’s be the arbiter of what is acceptable for every single young woman on the planet! Wee!

    • Guest.

      Or we can take everything really seriously.

      • Anonymous

        Oh that’s right, I forgot to follow hipster code and view everything ironically. My bad.

  • Kai

    I got a wrist tattoo before it was the new dolphin-on-your-ankle tattoo. But mine is a misspelled allusion to an emo song, so I’ll never outgrow it.

  • Jkhmn80

    LOVE  LOVE LOVE  it! I would send it to my daughter, but she already admonished me for sending her too many TCs.

  • Jkhmn80

    LOVE  LOVE LOVE  it! I would send it to my daughter, but she already admonished me for sending her too many TCs.

  • abby

    love. this. going to send it to all my 20-something friends. 

  • Anonymous

    Somewhere, Ryan O’Connell is wearing suspenders and yelling, “This is my beat, damnit! MY BEAT.” 

    • Scaachi

      I could take him.

      • Ryan O'Connell

        i dont know honey…..

    • Sara Lomas


  • The Wind

    I think it is crule of you to make fun of my dysxelia

  • Sara Lomas

    How about “Stop Forgoing Proofreading”, i.e. “wear a bra”…do you want them to stop, or to start wearing a bra? 
    There are so many things wrong with this article…and I’m not talking about editing. 

  • Chels

    If I don’t feel like wearing a bra, I am not going to wear a bra. How’s that for feminism up your ass. 

  • CarolineT.

    This is lame, condescending and overly generalizing. I think you meant to “mean well” but it’s actually pretty hard to tell.

  • Ccotter955

    Is ‘slore’ acceptable?

    • your cousin


  • Bri

    It’s the truth. I commend you.

  • Julian Galette

    Thank you for introducing me to the term jagwagon

    • Scaachi

      Not my term, but use it freely.

  • Maxwell Chance


    • Anonymous

      you’re cool

      • Maxwell Chance


  • guest

    hmm, whether i agree with these guidelines or not, i find the didactic tone + the author’s age = problematic.  i wouldn’t mind hearing this stuff from my mom, or even a cool older lady like helen mirren but such vitriolic self-righteousness from a woman who is younger than me (and, i’m guessing, most of the readers of this site) and so, it may be inferred, knows less about life than i do, makes my sass-o-meter through its glass bubble

    can’t we get a similar piece written by somebody’s completely awesome mom/ant/grandma/mentor who actually knows a thing about a thing?

    • NoSexCity

      “And now, every reason why my grandma thinks you whippersnappers need to cheer the fuck up”

      … This has potential, now that I’m looking at it.

    • douchegirl

      I would love it if someone’s ant wrote a response to this article. 

      • Mcobley

        ant ?

    • k.b.

      Hmm… I don’t think just because someone is younger than you means s/he knows less than you do. There are many things that we can learn even from people younger than us. At times, they’re even more insightful (and sometimes even more mature) than older people.

      • Not Old

        I agree that age isn’t always important. However, this article did not come off as if it was written by a young person with an old soul, in my opinion. It came off as self-righteous and catty.  

  • Samie Rose

    “your strife isn’t twee” sold me.

    I liked this. Number six is very, very, very true. Ugh.

  • Anonymous

    Where are you finding these women?!? I’m a young woman, and the ones you’re describing sound like caricatures.

    • Nicolette

      They’re everywhere. If you don’t know anyone who demonstrates any of the aforementioned habits, count yourself fortunate. However, most of said females probably lack the self awareness to realize that they exhibit said behaviors often.

  • Sarah N. Knutson

    “Request excellence of you and others, but don’t turn into a sad-sack because you’re not your own ideal.” SO TRUE.

  • Jonathon Ferrari

    You have a pretty poor understanding of statistics if you think voting is a hallmark of intelligence.

  • Thomas

    The people hating on this article are the ones that realize it was written for them.

    This was an awesome piece. 

    • awaitingyrapproval

      thx bro

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