Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Can We Stop Being Girly and Just Be Women?

I read an interesting article last week on the rise of "girly" media, specifically "Hello Giggles." And it got me thinking, because this fact I know to be true: I've never been really girly.

It's not something I would consider a struggle, but something I've always noticed. My husband phrased it as I'm more of a "guy's girl." But even that makes me a cringe a little, because nowadays when I picture a "guy's girl," I picture a girl wearing pink-colored NFL gear while watching a game with her man because he's happy when his team wins. I know this is a stereotype, but I've only met a few girls who truly love sports like I do. And most of them are friends.

But the girly thing has become more blatant and in your face over the last couple of years. I blame the rise of Zooey Deschanel and Pinterest for bringing this to the forefront. Suddenly it's hip to be cute and doe-eyed and ultra-feminine. Professing love of a glittery vampire or a RomCom or nail art is what makes a woman into a girl. But do we really need to be girls again? Really?

I'm all for letting people be themselves, but are we doing ourselves justice as women if we are more overt of our differences just  to be seen as "cute"? I always felt this growing up. I may do my hair and make-up on a daily basis and I love shoes, but I don't go around telling people about my love of shoes just for shits and giggles. I do it on my blog or when someone asks--and by someone, I mean my friends or other women. The only man that I subject my love of shoes to is Chef and that's because he needed to know when he was marrying into.

I feel like as women we are taking feminism in the wrong direction. Instead of celebrating strong women, we hate them. This isn't all that new. But now we must all be cute and girly (and seemingly weak) to be women? Why can't women see ourselves outside of what is reflected back to us? I spent way too much of my youth feeling like loving sports and being smart and sarcastic wasn't ever going to lead me anywhere or at least not lead me anywhere with a man. I feel like this "girly" throwback now means that being smart, sarcastic and loving sports is again not a part of today's womanhood.

When is being strong and smart going to be celebrated and embraced? When will women be allowed to finally outgrow the pink sparkly unicorn way of our childhood? Being a woman is just as fun as being a girl. Even more so.

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