Being a 'Yes' Girl

You are a young girl.

You say “yes” because you were a little girl and little girls we’re supposed to be agreeable. You say “yes” because obedience puts a smile on your mother’s face. You say “yes” because little girls we’re supposed to be sweet and mild and kind. You say “yes” because “no” is selfish. You say “yes” because it helped you become a peacekeeper and only boys were allowed to create conflict. You say “yes” because that’s what you’ve been taught.

Now you are a young woman.

You say “yes” because you want to please; because it has become so much harder to add up to the rest lately. You say “yes” because you care about those around you. You say “yes” because selflessness is an admirable quality… you think. You say “yes” because to be empathetic and compassionate makes you feel at ease, like you are enough. You say “yes” because it puts a smile on everybody’s face and you think it’s worth the smile on yours, especially if the one who gets to smile is him. You say “yes” because boys love “yes” and “yes” girls are the girls that boys love. You say “yes” because you think it’s still your choice. You say “yes” because you don't realize that it has become a habit. You say “yes” because it strengthens your resilient people-pleasing heart — because you don't see how it’s disbanding your personal boundaries and self-care. You say “yes” because you’ve grown uncomfortable with conflict. You say “yes” because you’re afraid of where his gaze will go if you were to say no. You say “yes” because you feel stuck. You say “yes” because you’re unaware that “no” doesn't make you boring or heartless or prude or selfish. You say “yes” because everybody has become accustomed to those three letters dripping out of your mouth like a vein that bleeds for the sake of whoever needs it, even if there’s barely any left to give.

You say, “yes” and start to feel like the victim. You say “yes” and begin to resent those who take your “yeses” so easily, as if it was expected. You say “yes” and grow disappointed with the rug you’ve grown to be. You say “yes” and start to feel handicapped to saying, “no” to other people besides yourself.

You say “yes” because you don't realize that saying “yes” to one thing, means “no” to another and often times that another is yourself. So, what are you saying “no” to? You’ve become their “yes” girl and your own “no” girl. But what if you could just be a girl? A girl, who said yes and no and was happy with both.

Photographer: Michael Brewington @senterfolds

Model: Olivia Buchanan @olivia_buchanan