meredith graves writes a letter to her younger self

​To celebrate 25 years of BE WHO YOU ARE, i-D is collaborating with Bobbi Brown to bring you six women's letters of advice to their younger selves. Here, Meredith of Perfect Pussy reflects on blind bathroom haircuts and meeting Beyoncé.

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Oct 7 2016, 3:50pm

dear fifteen-year-old meredith,

(i wrote this all in lowercase to match your livejournal and makeoutclub profiles)

first off, i gotta say, i really like you— more so than ever now that i've had fourteen years to think about it. i bring you up constantly: 'would fifteen year old meredith think this is cool?' i worry about your opinion more than any living person. and if i could go back in time and tell you one thing, it would be: you matter, just as you are now. you really, really do.

i know you come home from school every day feeling completely defeated, and you listen to the blood brothers' burn, piano island, burn at blast volume and stress-eat a bag of plain tortilla chips. i know exactly how much you cry. but don't stop crying. don't stop doing the things that get you made fun of, that right now make you miserable (you won't-- i know, because i'm here. good job, you badass little freak.).

you have no reason to believe me, but in about a decade, you will conquer your pain by monetizing it. the qualities that make your life a literal hell now will magically land you a two year trip around the world where you will be paid actual money to scream until you cry and throw up and break blood vessels. you will meet kathleen hanna and john joseph and hell, even beyoncé.

your staunch (and wildly underdeveloped) anti-authoritarian beliefs that get you shamed in a military town, your tendency to alter your appearance drastically and without warning, the thick nerdy books and holey thrift store dresses and blind bathroom haircuts and perzines and soft tofu and foreign screamo records and that hair-trigger temper— right now, they make you the biggest, brightest target in your high school. but someday, these will be the things the new york times will write about when they profile you for the style section.

and when you stand your ground and become even more vocal and even more political, accidentally-sort-of ending up as a television news correspondent--- well, no spoilers, but you'll start having these cool recurring dreams where you're cinderella and the older girls in select choir who made you cry are the handmaidens who have to carry your train.

you matter - unchanged, whole and complete as you are. don't let anyone shame you for your interests, your aesthetic, your hunger for knowledge. keep researching, keep experimenting, and make sure to fail loudly and wildly and publically. stretch your gangly arms and stiff legs out long until your comfort zone is the size of the whole world. you are massively weird (and massively nice, for that matter) and it doesn't seem like that's ever going to change, so the sooner you get used to it and learn how to walk into every room like you're a living, breathing air mail envelope full of flower petals and glitter with a ph.d in hot bitch studies, the sooner the adventure begins.

and, of course, i love you very, very much, my dude.

meredith