To Be a Girl

Baby-Girl-In-Garden

What does it really mean to be a girl? Does our society demand too much of them? Or too little (yeah right)? Is there really such a thing as being too ‘girly’ or not being girly enough?

Being a girl these days isn’t too easy. Everyone seems to have their own pet ideas about what makes a girl or what a girl should or should not do. Right from the time a girl is born, she’s seen as an object, a ‘doll’ to be dressed up, to be made ‘pretty’. As she grows older, this idea is reinforced again and again and again: a girls job is to look ‘nice’, to stay well groomed, to wear nice clothes and above all else, to always match her purse to her shoes. As she grows older, this list of what a girl needs to be is added to, little by little. A girl needs to learn how to cook, she needs to be neat and be capable of multitasking. A girl should always have time for her appearance, no matter how busy she is. A girl should always be careful not to darken her complexion or put on any excess weight. A girl should be capable to keeping her house neat as a pin without any help. A girl needs to always guard her ‘reputation’ and her modesty. Nice girls don’t hang out with friends too often, they stay home with the family. If, God forbid, anything bad does happen, it is somehow always the girl’s fault for just not being careful enough

It is the girl who needs to compromise in her relationships, to always put others happiness above her own. It is a girl’s job to keep her husband happy and her children clean, fed and well-behaved. A successful girl will marry, keep house, cook, clean, raise her children, manage the household, and all while balanced precariously on pretty heels beneath a pretty dress. Boys will be boys, their sins (no matter how big or small) forgivable by those that love them and by society at large but girls can never have that option. A girl must always be perfect because any mistake she may make will haunt her for the rest of her life. A boy will get multiple second chances but a girl, she will get only the one chance and so she better make the best of it.

Society expects a lot from girls, but it’s not the high expectations that break a girl, it’s the lack of appreciation it implies. All this is your duty ladies, so of course you have no choice in the matter so why should we appreciate you? What do you want, a medal?

Yes. A medal would be nice. But short of that, at least a good word here and there won’t kill you. Girls are the mothers of all nations and all families and they are stronger than any boy can ever hope to be. It won’t kill you to appreciate them from time to time.

image via: http://www.liveluvcreate.com
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15 thoughts on “To Be a Girl

  1. You nailed the post when you wrote this – “Society expects a lot from girls, but it’s not the high expectations that break a girl, it’s the lack of appreciation it implies.:

    Superb write up 🙂

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  2. Very true. We have a tough role as females to hold our heads high and be confident in our abilities to rise above social expectations and be the best we can. I am reminded of the Always commercial “Like a Girl” where young adults act as if running and throwing like a girl is a weak thing, but little girls run and throw with all their might when they are doing it “like a girl”.

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    1. It’s come to point that ‘like a girl’ is used as an insult or slur which is so frustrating! The Always ad tries to show us that it shouldn’t have to be but it’s so ingrained in us as a species that it’s going to take a long time to outgrow such thinking 😦

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  3. I agree with your message that women aren’t held to the same standards as men. It’s something in our society that we will unfortunately have years of overcoming before we see real results. The best thing we can do is teach our daughters to aspire to their goals and be the individuals they deserve to be.

    I love this TEDx talk by about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie why we should all be feminists. A must watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3umXU_qWc#action=share

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    1. Thanks for sharing! I think teaching our daughters to strive to be all that they can be is very important, but it’s even more important to teach our sons to respect girls as their equals, don’t you think so?

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  4. Wonderful post! I would add that society now expects all that of a girl in addition to her being the CEO of a Fortune 500. God forbid your dream is to open a small cupcake shop or be a SAHM, society will shame you for not “having it all.”

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