Open Letter to the ladies of Siesta Key:

Maybe this sounds weird coming from someone who is older than you, but you ladies could have been my students my first year or so of teaching, so I almost feel protective over you. I so feel for you all as I read the comments on your Instagram pictures and Tweets. Some of them are great, but then some of them are downright HURTFUL. I want to jump in and just make people see how hypocritical they are being, but it’s the internet. No one wants to be held accountable for their actions (which is funny because they LOOOVE commenting on yours). 

So I wanted to give some advice. Not that I’ve been on a reality TV show for my early adult years to be shown for the critics of the world.. But I’ve been in some of the positions you guys have been in and I want you to feel like you’re understood by at least SOMEONE. Us WOMEN have to stick together 😘

1. Pay Attention to the Love, Forget the Hate: Easier said than done, I know. Especially when you are being bombarded with comments of people who think they know exactly what happened because they saw a CLIP (that goes through editing.........) of a TV show. But love on the people who support you and build you up. I always see you guys explaining yourself and I think it sucks you feel you have to do that. Because you don’t. If people can’t wrap their minds around the FACT that you are on a REALITY TV SHOW, that’s on them. That’s them being close-minded. Nothing against your producers, but if people can’t see that they get to manipulate what gets shown and what doesn’t, then is it really worth explaining yourself to them? The scene between Kelsey and Jacob was PROOF of editing, in my opinion. I looked at my husband after that scene and said “Did that seem HEAVILY edited to you? No conversation flows like that.”  In my opinion, the producers of the show throw you guys out to the wolves, but I guess that comes with the territory of being on TV. 

2. Find SOMETHING to Do That Helps With Your Mental Health, If You Don’t Already Have It: I can’t even imagine the anxiety that courses through you as the show is airing. My heart broke when I saw Chloe’s tweet about it being 8am the next day and she still hadn’t slept. That’s not good!! And it’s not fair to you. Again, I know it must be the territory, but this is a chapter in your life that is already so stressful with figuring out your life and what your future looks like. To add a TV show on top of that, one that more often airs your dirty laundry than show any good you may do, has to be kicking your psyche’s ass. You’re all so beautiful so please, please, please make sure you are taking care of yourselves in healthy ways! Yoga, meditation, reading, shoot even just soaking up that Florida sun! You matter and so does your mental health❤️

3. Be So Strong in Who You Are, But Know That Can Change, Too!: Who you are in this moment is not who you will be in 5, 10, 20 years. Don’t let comments or even the show in general define your lifetime. I think sometimes it’s hard for young women to really stand in their truth, because we have learned that to break the mold is to break into a danger zone, so to speak. It’s safer to be ordinary. None of you are ordinary and that draws a lot of jealousy and negative attention. Remember that no one can make you feel a certain way without your permission! 

There’s a million more things I can say but it all just boils down to one thing: Be you and pay no mind to the keyboard warriors. I’ve wanted to write something to pep you guys up for a while, and after last week’s episode I knew I just had to do it. 

Stay strong, love life, have FUN, and let go of anything/anyone that drags you down! There are people out there that want this for ALL of you! 

Love, Staci 

Staci Speece