10 New Year’s Resolutions for Girls

As I perused my usual blogs and websites this past week, I noticed an interesting and somewhat disheartening trend: an onslaught of beauty and appearance-focused New Year’s resolution suggestions.

Okay, I’ll be honest…this isn’t the first time I’ve noticed this. But this time I’m going to do more than, well, just complain. I can hear the sighs of relief as you all thank God this isn’t another weekly kvetch.

Instead, I’ve decided to make a list of keep-worthy resolutions that focus on a bit more than the exterior. In writing them out, I’m hoping I’ll be inspired to take on a few.

1. Instead of boycotting brownies, why not try boycotting questionable companies. My favorite “ooh their clothes are pretty but their policies are creepy” company is probably American Apparel. Their founder and CEO has been a part of so many scandals I’ve stopped counting. Most recently, I believe it came out that he had a sex slave? So perhaps, this is the year to finally start shopping elsewhere for that classic mesh leotard.

2. Instead of counting calories, start counting votes. Whether or not you’re 18 or older, now’s the time to start catching up on the issues and the candidates. With the Republican race for a Presidential candidate and the New Hampshire primary looming on the horizon, why not learn a little bit more about the candidates. For example, did you know Newt Gingrich wants to putreflective mirrors in space facing the earth, in the hope that we can reduce our electricity bills that way? Or that Ron Paul doesn’t believe in paper money?

3. Instead of spending endless hours watching DIY videos on how to get your hair to look like Lady Gaga’s, support lady pop stars by reading theFbomb’s weekly Support Women Artists Sunday posts. This is a great weekly post that brings attention to emerging and well-known female musicians.

4. Instead of watching Mean Girls for the tenth time to plan a new pink outfit, take a stand against bullying. Whether it’s standing up for a peer in school, or joining an online community to fight against the epidemic, as I learned a month ago, you CAN make a difference with one small action. But, if you do opt to watch Mean Girls again, you should get a full double dose of Tina Fey and read her book Bossypants afterward. Woman knows funny.

5. Trade in one of your lady mags for the Daily Beast’s Women in the WorldSection. This is BY FAR one of the most comprehensive sites for news on what’s going on with women all over the globe.

6. Instead of just wishing you had the Williams sisters’ abs, try out a new sport. If your school doesn’t have teams, join a league in your neighborhood or take a sports-themed class, like racquetball at your local gym. Who cares if you aren’t ready to go pro—as I learned in eleventh grade, playing a sport you’re not great at can actually be really fun. Everybody loves an underdog.

7. Instead of just stocking up on the latest beauty products Vogue tells you to buy, support companies that promote a more all-encompassing image of beauty. While I definitely have some issues with Dove and Bare Minerals’ claims that they depict beauty in every shape and size, I like that they attempt to put forth a fresh image.

8. If you’re lucky enough to plan your next vacation in a sunny place where you can veg out, apply or suggest that a teenage girl you know apply to one of these programsWhile I definitely know the merit of a nice long nap in the sun, you’ll have a whole slew of summer breaks in the future to tan on your patio. Programs like the Girls Leadership Institute and Running Start are open only to teens, and having attended both of them, I can tell you they’ve had a big impact on my life. Maybe an even bigger impact than that awesome tan I got last summer…believe it or not.

9. Instead of resolving to gab less with new guys you meet (this is an actual Cosmo resolution suggestion), watch other people gab by watching some youtube Ted talks. Ted is a great organization that promotes short, entertaining speeches of “ideas worth sharing.” Although most Ted speakers are adults, I did a Tedx talk last year, and there are a lot of teen-focused Ted events.

10. Instead of choosing a diet that you think will benefit your butt in that new leather skirt you got for Christmas, choose a diet that will benefit your community. I recently watched the documentary film Food Inc. for a Politics of Food elective course I’m taking at my high school, and was astounded to find out that most of the food I eat, in addition to going through some pretty gross processes before it reaches me, is hurting plants, people, and animals in our environment. If you’re interested in this subject, I’d also recommend Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which I am in the process of reading. I guarantee some not-so-pleasant, but very important surprises.

Hopefully, this list of slightly harder hitting resolution suggestions will inspire you, as researching it inspired me! And while it’s going to be hard to give up my American Apparel tube socks and McDonald’s fries, I’m going to try my best to keep some of these resolutions. Happy 2012!

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  1. [...] standards for themselves. They lament their lack of exercise, make weight-and appearance-related New Year’s Resolutions (something Bennhold mentions as an example of overreaching goal-setting). Perhaps girls are simply [...]



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Fiona Lowenstein

My name is Fiona Lowenstein, and I am a high school student. I started Barbara's Angels in 2008 when I was fourteen. My interest in politics was first sparked during the Bush vs. Gore election in 2000. My site is devoted to educating girls my age about politics, women's issues, and feminism with the hope that my generation will bring a new wave of female leaders!

About Barbara

Barbara Seaman was a women's health writer, activist, mother, and grandmother. She wrote eight books and is remembered by many as a principal founder of the women's health movement. She died of lung cancer in February 2008.