Marlhy Murphy: Finding Your Strength

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Ever struggled to speak up and be your authentic self? Your favorite Brat stars have been there, too. In this essay, Chicken Girls star Marlhy Murphy shares how she found her inner strength—and how you can do the same this school year.

Over the last few years, I’ve started to think more about the importance of strength and finding your voice. This idea applies to so many different aspects of life: your friendships, relationships, career, and just learning more about yourself and your beliefs.

Growing up, you question a lot of things about yourself. Unfortunately, sometimes people think that they can answer those questions for you, and you end up turning into someone you’re not. Finding your own voice will help you answer the questions yourself, which (from experience) will make you feel better about who you are. Obviously this is easier said than done, but you can start by asking yourself questions in various situations. How do I feel about this? Am I being honest with the person I’m talking to?

If you feel like you can’t say how you really feel to someone because they’ll get upset about it, than that friendship or relationship might not be healthy for you. It’s something I learned in high school when I wouldn’t be honest with those around me because I didn’t want to cause friction or drama. Now, this is something I try to think more about when looking at who’s around me, and it’s a message I firmly stand with in my music. If someone is trying to change me or make decisions for me about what I want or think, then they don’t appreciate me—and I’m not looking for that kind of relationship.

This applies to work and hobbies, too. When you’re choosing a career path, it’s important to consider what makes you happy. I fell in love with music through drumming, and have continued to play for 12 years despite the criticism I’ve received. I’ve been undervalued by people for my age, gender, and drum setup—but I don’t really care. What matters to me is that the people I care about support me and that I’m happy. When I get criticism, I take it and use it to push myself even harder to prove those people wrong. After all, if you’re not happy, why do it?

It took me years to find my voice. One of the reasons I love playing the part of Stephanie on Brat is because of her unapologetic personality. She’s different from others, but that’s the person she is and chooses to be. She’s LGBTQ, loves crossing patterns in her wardrobe, tries out lots of hobbies, and is always up front about how she feels. Being Stephanie has actually made me less worried about what other people think about me and has helped me find my voice—as an artist and human.

Watch Marlhy shine as Stephanie in Chicken Girls Season 4 as you count down the days until Season 5—coming September 3.