For some reason, people are very sensitive about admitting that being a teenage girl sucks. Really, though, doesn't it? There's endless competition, painful gossip, complicated decisions, and the otherworldly struggle of finding clothes that are: a) flattering, b) on trend and c) cheap, but not cheap-looking. Of course, boys will face similar issues. But the plight of the average teenage boy is far less dramatic than that of the average teenage girl, generally speaking.
Lucky for us gals of the 21st century, we've been blessed with some amazing women in the entertainment industry who just seem to get "it," whatever "it" is. They're in tune with women of all ages, and share truly unique and original thoughts on various areas of life that most people would otherwise be neutral or uninformed about.
While growing up isn't always fun or easy, it sets a precedent for how you're going to live the rest of your life. Thanks to some of these funny women, I feel fully equipped to take on whatever comes next. Here are some of the reasons why everything I need to know, I learned from female show runners:
1) It's okay to struggle.
During high school, there is so much pressure to choose a college, a major, a career and set your life path, all while trying to make it through AP European History. While these decisions are important, and are strongly emphasized with good intentions, it can cause a lot of anxiety. This is why Lena Dunham's character on Girls, Hannah Horvath, is so relevant: she is also often conflicted and struggles to decide what she wants out of life. While television has begun to show female characters in a more realistic light, Girls is by far the grittiest and most forthcoming show of its time. Hannah's need to stay true to her convictions, coupled with the mounting pressure to support herself, is refreshingly prevalent to teens who are confused by the prospect of their future.
2) High fashion is not reserved for certain people.
For most of my short life, I'd been convinced that only Kate Moss and Kendall Jenner could look good in off-the-runway designs. Mindy Kaling proves this is not so. In her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), Kaling recounts a time in which, at a photoshoot, her only dress options were sample size designer gowns or a "navy blue sack." Admittedly, Kaling went in the bathroom and cried. I'm sorry, but is this not the most genuine, heartbreaking and relatable story you've ever heard? What teenage girl hasn't been shopping for a formal dress, or a bathing suit, and eventually ended up in tears in the Nordstrom fitting room? We've all been there. However, Kaling rocks a style so signature, chic and effortlessly bold that her size isn't even a part of the equation (which, for the record, should never be apart of the equation -- Kaling is one of the most beautiful women to ever grace us with her intelligence and ethereal being, so the sooner we come to this conclusion, the less we'll have to debate over her healthy body). Her confidence and fashion sense is completely on point, making it not about the clothes, but making the clothes an extension of her own personal aesthetic.
3) Don't be afraid to get emotional.
I've had my fair share of midnight mental breakdowns, whether it's over college, friends, homework assignments or just an especially emotional episode of Breaking Bad. For reasons unknown, there's a certain social stigma attached to tears -- they carry the connotation of weakness, inferiority and the inability to cope with life at its height of difficulty. Alternatively, Tina Fey totally crushes this misconception, sharing in her book Bossypants, "Some people say, 'Never let them see you cry.' I say, if you're so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone."
4) Being a fan of things is perfectly acceptable.
Being passionate about something isn't considered a big deal when it's a sport, job or something traditionally "intellectual," such as politics. Why is loving something, whether it be Jennifer Lawrence or One Direction, so frequently degraded or considered an indicator of unintelligence? My favorite example of a kickass gal with a fast-firing pop culture knowledge is, obviously, Shoshanna Shapiro from Girls. As an NYU student and an avid lover of Sex and the City, Shosh is exemplary to any girl who is a hard-working student inspired by the entertainment industry. Okay...just me? Likewise, show creator Lena Dunham professed her obsession with Jimmy Fallon recently on the Tonight Show. Glad we're on the same page, Lena.
5) Make yourself the leading lady.
Being in high school, much of your time is spent considering the opinions and emotions of others, allowing your own personal feelings to fall to the wayside in order to be a good friend, student, and, presumably, a good person in general. Regardless of being considered a selfish generation, we're also an extremely productive and over-booked generation, which usually causes us to put ourselves last among our other, more pressing issues. Why don't we stop doing that? Let's follow in the footsteps of Lena, Mindy and Tina. They've created empires out of their own forward-thinking personas and hard work, putting themselves front-and-center in all creative operations. Their achievements are due to their perseverance, unwavering confidence and desire to be a unique face for women in entertainment. They're all extremely intelligent, and with their collective quick-witted sense of humor, these women have truly paved a path for teenage girls to follow.