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When you are 13 years old,
the heat will be turned up too high
and the stars will not be in your favor.
You will hide behind a bookcase
with your family and everything left behind.
You will pour an ocean into a diary.
When they find you, you will be nothing
but a spark above a burning bush,
still, tell them
Despite everything, I really believe people are good at heart.

When you are 14,
a voice will call you to greatness.
When the doubters call you crazy, do not listen.
They don’t know the sound
of their own God’s whisper. Use your armor,
use your sword, use your two good hands.
Do not let their doubting
drown out the sound of your own heartbeat.
You are the Maid of Untamed Patriotism.
Born to lead armies into victory and unite a nation
like a broken heart.

When you are 15, you will be punished
for learning too proudly. A man
will climb onto your school bus and insist
your sisters name you enemy.
When you do not hide,
he will point his gun at your temple
and fire three times. Three years later,
in an ocean of words, with no apologies,
you will stand before the leaders of the world
and tell them your country is burning.

When you are 16 years old,
you will invent science fiction.
The story of a man named Frankenstein
and his creation. Soon after you will learn
that little girls with big ideas are more terrifying
than monsters, but don’t worry.
You will be remembered long after
they have put down their torches.

When you are 17 years old,
you will strike out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
one right after the other.
Men will be afraid of the lightening
in your fingertips. A few days later
you will be fired from the major leagues
because “Girls are too delicate to play baseball”

You will turn 18 with a baby on your back
leading Lewis and Clark
across North America.

You will turn 18 
and become queen of the Nile.

You will turn 18 
and bring justice to journalism.

You are now 18, standing on the precipice,
trembling before your own greatness.

This is your call to leap.

There will always being those
who say you are too young and delicate
to make anything happen for yourself.
They don’t see the part of you that smolders.
Don’t let their doubting drown out the sound
of your own heartbeat.

You are the first drop of a hurricane.
Your bravery builds beyond you. You are needed
by all the little girls still living in secret,
writing oceans made of monsters and
throwing like lightening.

You don’t need to grow up to find greatness.
You are stronger than the world has ever believed you to be.
The world laid out before you to set on fire.
All you have to do
is burn.

For Teenage Girls With Wild Ambition and Trembling Hearts, Clementine von Radics (via clementinevonradics)

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wonderlandwannabe:

ultrafacts:

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I was gunna say what about Wales but them i imagined sticking a giant dragon on it and that the rest of the uk must be embarrassed of us.

Fun fact: The Welsh dragon does not appear on the flag because when the first Union Flag was created in 1606, Wales was already united with England from the 13th century. This meant that Wales  was a Principality instead of a Kingdom and as such could not be included

I can’t fault brands for keeping the spotlight on these important cultural issues, but many ads employing female-empowering messages, especially the beauty brands, seem to be simply couching their backward-thinking messages in new packaging. For example, Pantene’s “Not Sorry” ad, which has over 13 million views on YouTube, tells women to stop apologizing, assert their strength, and refuse to downplay their opinions and expertise—a meaningful and important message. But it all comes back to beauty, as the description of the ad explains, “When you’re strong on the inside, you shine on the outside. And that’s a beautiful thing.” Along the same lines, Dove’s “Movement for Self-Esteem” seemed to be singularly based on helping young girls boost confidence by making them “feel beautiful”: the brand supported its program with a survey concluding that only 4 percent of women worldwide considered themselves beautiful and, of the 1,200 girls ages 10-17 in the survey, about 11 percent of girls felt comfortable using the word beautiful to describe their appearances. I’m inclined to say “So what? What percent of those girls would use the word smart, fierce, talented, etc, to describe themselves? That seems like a more important measurement of their confidence.”

My point is this: Dove and Pantene continue to equate the pursuit of beauty with the pursuit of happiness and confidence, making a direct connection with exterior appearances and interior fulfillment. According to their ads, “looking confident” and “feeling beautiful” are really half the battle. A woman’s appearance is still a critical component of her strength and authority, and there’s nothing empowering about that message.

What to Make of “Female Empowerment” Marketing | Women’s Media Center (via becauseiamawoman)

behind-the-book:

High School Reading List

Back in May, the #weneeddiversebooks campaign lit a fire to fulfill the desperate need for diverse books in children’s literature. Behind the Book has always championed efforts to find diverse authors and protagonists that will appeal to students since we serve communities of color. For your enjoyment (and enrichment), we’ve created an epic list of diverse books to reflect the diversity in our city; here’s our list for high school students.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Drown by Junot Diaz

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

The Living by Matt De La Peña, a Behind the Book author

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

The Pearl that Broke Its Shell: a Novel by Nadia Hashimi

Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis

A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri

The Book of Unknown Americans: a Novel by Cristina Henríquez

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle

Naughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi

For descriptions, click the read more!

(Click the following links to be directed to the Kindergarten, (early) Elementary and Middle School lists)

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