‘Girl’ Does Not Have to Be A Four Letter Word

pink pretty bow Let’s talk about the word ‘girly’.

People have attached a meaning to girly that I don’t see it as. It is synonymous, in our Western culture, with ‘airhead’, ‘weak’, ‘self-absorbed’ or ‘flaky’. This might sound a bit hardcore feminist but I feel that in our society- either subconsciously or consciously- men are seen as the strength and women are seen as vulnerable or weak. Being girly or feminine is seen as a weakness.

Conversations happen all the time where a woman will say, “Well you know how I’m not girly at all, but I bought a dress! A dress! I know, right? I saw it and thought, I can wear this. It’s not toooo girly cuz my badass tomboy self couldn’t pull off tooooo girly.”

After these conversations I want to puke a little. These people are trying so hard to NOT be something that they are forgetting the truest thing of all- embracing who you are. Like what you like!! Why should we define it differently to please perceptions? If you like that shirt with the pink bow why should you have to explain why? What’s so bad about girly?!?!?!

I think being a girl is amazing. And finally there are badass but girly role models out there for us to emulate. Felicia Day, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kahling, Gwen Stefani, Kristen Wiig, Emily Blunt, Carrie Brownstein…. I could go on. They are feminine, smart, funny, fashionable and wicked. Yes, you can be all of those things at once. I don’t see why we compartmentalize those descriptions.

It hurts my heart when I hear boys shout at each other, “Can’t you do that! You too much of a girl, you wuss!?” These sentences are why we hate saying we are girly. I have both a boy and a girl. My daughter is in to dresses AND playing hockey. My son is in to superheroes AND dance. Sometimes they get teased for their unconventional passions. I don’t see it that way. They’re still young enough to like what they like without over-thinking it. I hope that continues. I remember when I was in Grade 7 and 8 I really liked pink. But, secretly. (There is always a “but”, isn’t there?) I made up my room in a super girly light pink. I painted the walls pink and found some super fluffy and lacy pink curtains. It was a bedroom for a belle, a pink princess room, a room fitting Scarlett O’Hara with its opulence. I think back in fondness for that room. But I didn’t tell anyone about my room and I believe only my best friend and I ever played in there. I was afraid I was too old for such a girly room and was scared to invite others in. I didn’t want to face ridicule. I dressed like a tomboy and wanted to be seen as fun, not flaky. I changed my room to robin’s egg blue after two years, which I also loved, but I kind of missed the pink sometimes. I think I changed it too early, for the wrong reasons. I changed it because of the opinions of others.

Girly is not a four letter word. You can be a tomboy and girly. You can be a girly punk, or girly and badass, girly and sporty. We are not the Spice Girls women, we don’t need to have a gimmick and fit ourselves in to a tiny box of a certain description or style.

Rant concluded. Thanks for listening you guys!

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